A Temporary Historical past of the Tech Behind RAB – River Avenue Blues

A Temporary Historical past of the Tech Behind RAB – River Avenue Blues


Jay has been RAB’s SysAdmin, you could find him on Twitter at @jaydestro.

Conserving RiverAveBlues on-line has been “a factor” for me through the years.  Whether or not it’s after I labored at a hosting supplier and was only a fan of Mike’s writing… all the way in which till as we speak, the place I get prepared to begin archiving the location I’ve completed my greatest to maintain out there.  Again in 2009, I did a ton of technical work totally free for the fellows to ensure the web site stayed on-line and ran easily.  To repay me, they made me a associate within the firm — fairly cool, huh?

RAB has run on the WordPress running a blog platform since its inception.  Initially on a shared internet hosting supplier, the location was finally moved to a single VM with Rackspace.  I ultimately migrated the whole lot to 2 devoted servers: one was a HP DL360 G3 entrance finish server we used for all the net visitors with Apache and the opposite a SuperMicro generic white field we used for the MySQL database server and memcached.

The laborious half was all the time maintaining with the thrill of the Yankees because the accessibility of the web exploded on cell.  Daily we noticed the necessity for extra capability improve as the necessity for Yankees information at any second continued to blow up.  Mike’s profile started to develop as he took on jobs with MLBTradeRumors and finally CBS.  Folks actually got here to depend on the work Mike did and I took private accountability to maintain that work on-line, and for it to achieve as extensive of an viewers as potential.

One second I all the time recall as pivotal in making a significant overhaul to the RAB infrastructure was the day the Yankees traded for Ichiro.  I used to be in Oxford, England at a job I had simply began.  I had just lately moved the web site in a “lift-and-shift” method to AWS and actually had not had an opportunity to do a ton of optimization.  I woke as much as a slew of textual content messages from Mike and Joe telling me they couldn’t get to the location.  I discovered a free second to repair the issue I discovered on whole MySQL connections and acquired the location again on-line.

I later would be taught a ton extra about AWS from my mates Lenny Herold, Jeff Kaplan and Tony Tonns (RIP).  I’d take this information to finally absolutely automate the RAB providers to not depend on static VMs and moved to an autoscaling platform.  Tony taught me a ton about memcached, tuning MySQL and guaranteeing reliability by means of resilient providers.  I later configured a lot of cache layers and made the W3 Complete Cache plug-in an absolute MUST.  I discovered numerous success in utilizing the plugin together with a memcached service for every cache layer.  This was for object, web page and MySQL database cache that ran on RDS.  Auto-scaling the entrance finish additionally grew to become a straightforward job in order that when our visitors elevated, we may simply add capability routinely.

As time moved on, we eliminated the native WordPress commenting system for Disqus.  This was an absolute godsend, as server load throughout “thundering herd” moments of enormous visitors tremendously decreased. Customers have been storing feedback in a separate database which actually meant we have been ready for GDPR protections years earlier than it was applied.  I by no means actually wished RAB to be within the enterprise of storing anybody’s information.  Due to that, the previous customers have been finally purged from the RAB database, together with any person info you might have offered us. This makes me completely happy that now we have by no means compromised/hacked because of good safety defaults and lowering our whole information publicity by merely not storing that information.

Afterward, we discovered new methods to additional cut back server load with the implementation of a CDN and higher communication amongst the writers about how we wanted to retailer static photos.  That meant sooner load instances and higher entry to the location when large moments occurred.

Issues haven’t all the time been excellent, however the greater incidents have completed a ton to show me extra about what I do for a residing,  I’ve all the time appreciated together with communities within the work I’ve completed or the hobbies I take pleasure in.  Baseball and applied sciences are my passions and RAB was the last word fruits of each for me.

Now, I work at Microsoft and educate folks the best way to use the Azure cloud.  I additionally spend my time serving to manage the DevOpsDays NYC convention and do the On-Name Nightmares Podcast.  I like chatting expertise and baseball – be happy to achieve out for those who ever need assistance or simply wish to speak about these subjects, or steel music, or something pug-related  Thanks for studying RAB all these years; it’s been a giant a part of my life.  None of these things occurs with out Mike, Joe and Ben.. to them I’m eternally grateful.  Thanks all the time to my spouse, Betsy, who was woken up as many instances as I used to be to sort things (and sometimes woke me up for breaking information, just like the Andrew Miller commerce in 2016). Everlasting gratitude to everybody who got here to the location and returned an HTTP name efficiently. Which means I did my job.

RAB Tech Stack 2007 – 2019:

Linux, WordPress, Apache, PHP, Memcached, MySQL

Yankees Solely.

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