Running stuff.co.nz

On the second day we had Jethro Carr, talking about how they run the stuff.co.nz website for Fairfax Media.

Notes:

  • Really good “spectrum” line with “SRE/InfraCoder” on one end and “Dev Shepherd”  on the other, with SRE being your traditional “SysAdmin” type work
  • Also mention of DevSecOps? where does it end…
  • ~5 people team
  • Consulting/Agency model with the Development teams
  • Varied environment (Ruby, Perl, Python)
  • Heavily recommended to use PagerDuty or something like it
  • Because of small team, have to standardise, figure out commonalities
    • 80% of stuff is Java, JavaScript
    • DB standard, Caching layer standarise
  • Use Common Off The Shelf Components, easier to understand
  • Don’t get overly creative, don’t use too much “new shiny”
  • Keep things simple
  • Used AWS Lambda to get rid of all “batch” job servers
  • With MicroServices, standards are essential
    • but have to be easy to use, understand and keep up to date
  • They try to follow 12-factor apps, apps are Node, Java, Ruby
  • SQL, Varnish, Memcache, Redis makes up infra side of things
  • Varnish > ELB/ALB
    • Was raving about Varnish for ages
    • Can mask failures
    • Can serve cached articles if backends are down
    • Can slowly ramp up traffic, to “warm up” a new backend instance
    • Can retry failed requests on different backend
  • For workflow, it goes BitBucket -> CodeShip -> CodeDeploy -> EC2
  • Puppet used extensively
  • Secrets stored in PuppetDB
  • PR workflow requires two reviewers, replaced ITIL controls, they test changes in a pre-prod environment

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