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Posts Tagged ‘Auto-Deployment’
Personally I feel most people using the internet don’t notice or appreciate the wonderful work of DNS (Domain Name System) servers. There is no reason really for them to think about it; they type an address on the browser and the website appears. Like a phone number, you dial the right number and the right person answers. That is fine until you offer an online service on the internet, you have your own domain name and somehow you need to use a DNS service. Since most Morfik users will be using Morfik DAS, sooner or later it will be essential to know a few things about DNS and how it relates to Morfik DAS.
Any new and revolutionary technology will face the dilemma of supply and demand prerequisites for third party support. Generally, third parties will wait until demand for a service reaches a level that ensures profitability before providing such a service. Web hosting is no exception to this rule and Morfik has specifically developed its deployment technology with this in mind.
I am very passionate about this feature of Morfik software, but sometimes I wonder if other people can see the benefits too.
The reason I appreciate this feature more than others is that for a long time I used to deploy and update Morfik applications manually. At that stage, we did not have the auto-deployment feature—and it was a real pain. It’s not that Morfik web applications (XApps) were particularly hard to deploy, but this was a general problem when deploying web applications—especially when they needed to use a back-end database.
Nowadays, the deployment process has become so trivial using Morfik software that all the Morfik team deploy their XApps directly from the environment they work in (Morfik IDE) without any knowledge of the back-end or even which files and resources the project needs. They don’t even ask a question about this anymore!
Have you ever bought a big fancy refrigerator with the latest and greatest wiz bang features and when the delivery truck arrived, realized it would not get through the door? I did, and soon learned the valuable lesson of planning the deployment of my applications even before I start coding.
Developers of my vintage remember the early days when we deployed programs by the use of a single XCOPY command. As computing environments became more complex, deployment of applications became a daunting task and things got so bad that a whole new industry specialising in installation tools emerged. At its peak there were tools with several thousand dollar price tags on offer.
Developers who seek their fortune in the web business applications market must face and survive seven ordeals and success will only favour those who come prepared.
7. The Seventh Ordeal: Deployment
After surviving many ordeals and completing the web application, the developer must then face the ordeal of deployment. If you thought it was as easy as uploading the elements of the application onto a web server and configuring the IP address, think again.
Those of you who have been with Morfik for a while may remember times when the Morfik site would go down and we would get the bad news from you guys. Thankfully those days are long gone and I can’t recall the last time a user had to contact us about a site outage.
Of course there are a number of reasons for this. Yes, Morfik software is now more mature and stable, and the auto-deployment process reduces the pain of maintenance and updates, but the main reason is that we are using a simple yet effective monitoring service which informs us immediately of any problem with our site or service. I receive a call within minutes on my cell phone!
Monitoring can be implemented at a few levels: the server level, Hosting Service Provider level and independent monitoring service level. To me the last one is the key. (And by the way I have no affiliation with any of the monitoring service providers).
If you set up your own monitoring server it is possible that your server fails long before you know it. Moreover, setting up your server to send SMS messages or make a Voice Call is not a trivial task.
As we all know maintaining a website and its related server infrastructure is a daunting task! Most of us think of it as some kind of pain that is unavoidable - a pain that has to be endured for things to work properly. While this is largely true, I feel there are a number of things that we can do to reduce or even eliminate this pain.
In my blogs I will try to help you manage this pain by simply talking about our experiences in this field. I will share with you what we have learnt running and supporting Morfik and its related partners’ websites and their server infrastructure.
Morfik uses its own software exclusively for its website and associated services. As well as this being one of the best things we could have ever done for the product, it ensures that there is never a dull moment in the IT department here at Morfik!
Here are the areas that I will be covering in my future blogs: