RubyConf and Miscellany

I’m headed to rubyconf this week in Charlotte, NC. If you are too and you want to chat, send me an email (‘’.gsub(‘ROCKS’, ‘@’)) or come up and say hi. Good luck with that spammers. Muhahaha.

Over the past month, I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to run a big rails app (sometimes the hard way) and I’m starting to think that I need to start posting a few tips here. I’ve learned how to hookup yum with dag and rpmforge. How to install munin and setup several plugins for server reporting and graphs. How to install everyone’s favorite faithful employee monit to automatically restart your mongrels when they misbehave. How to enable slow query logging and analyze the output. Then take the results of your analyzing and properly index some things in your database. How to rotate your log files on a regular basis. How to automate backups a bit of subversion, your database and assets/resources.

There are probably other things too but it’s too much too remember (and to fit in the long paragraph above). Is anyone interested in a few of these types of articles or should I stay more on specifically ruby and rails code related topics? My thought is that most of us who code in ruby and rails also have to manage the servers that our apps run on so tips like those mentioned above might be handy. Thoughts? Post a comment with yay or nay and maybe why you would say so.


  1. I would love to see more tips like the ones you mention. I always like to see how other people set things up, and steal the bits I like, or comment if I’ve found a better approach.

    Each month the “state of the art” for deploying and managing Rails applications seems to improve, so I think its a good idea to get people talking about this stuff in more places than just rubyonrails-deployment.

  2. I’m interested in the monit and the server reporting and graphs. Look forward to it.

  3. A series of articles on that would be phenomenal. There’s not nearly enough copy written on deployment and refactoring on live, large-scale sites.

    Writing it for lay readers would be especially great.

  4. Bring it on. All of it.

  5. It’s always interesting and (usually!) useful to hear about other people’s experiences running Rails servers so please do go ahead with some articles along those lines. I’d love to hear about your server reporting and how you set up monit.

  6. Pleaaaaaaaase go on about these topics. I share your belief, that most of the rails coders out there do not have a really big maintenance crew for their servers or a database guru just sitting and waiting for new indexes to put on all those tables.

    I would really appreciate to read more on these topics.


  7. Yep, I’m very interested in the realities of post-Rails coding nirvana. App management is not talked about nearly enough.

  8. I’d like to see it. We can try to do a similar write-up on slate to compare.

  9. I would definitely be interested in some tips on server setup. I’m making the move from MS technologies over to the Rails world so server setup has been a learning curve for me.

    Bring it on!

  10. Those kinds of articles are great. Being a developer means a lot more then slinging code…so any sort of server admin/performance tuning/scaling type articles are always welcome.

  11. Andy P. Andy P.

    Oct 30, 2007

    yay! :)

  12. I’d very much be interested in articles related to actually running rails apps in the wild; there seems to be not a lot of solid information out there and I for one would enjoy hearing another voice on the subject.

  13. I too would love to hear your war stories.

  14. Yeah, I’d be interested in hearing about server details that are peripheral to Rails itself. A lot of us have to deal with these issues. Even if we don’t, we can often offer advice to those that do.

    Deployment of Rails apps has always been an issue. Things like Capistrano have been helping, but there’s a lot more we can do. The Advanced Rails course offered by Pragmatic Studios had sections on deployment and monitoring, so it’s definitely something that Rails developers want to discus.

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Authored by John Nunemaker (Noo-neh-maker), a programmer who has fallen deeply in love with Ruby. Learn More.


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