[Mongrel] Some architecture questions for my mongrelian friends
public at misuse.org
public at misuse.org
Fri May 16 16:34:13 EDT 2008
I'm working on a project, and mongrel may be part of the stack, but
I've got some more general questions and ideas I'm hoping to run by
this list. The people on this list have a broader knowledgebase and
more experience than any place else I know - plus a general
friendliness and willingness to help!
I'm working with a company who has a really antique application stack.
Literally from 1998. IIS + ASP + MS SQL server. They want me to help
"modernize" things. In the abstract I'd say, "get a really good .NET
team and go that route." But they want me to help. All I work in these
days is Ruby. And that's all I want to work in. :)
So my questions are like this:
1) Can I in good conscience start migrating this company from IIS/ASP
to Mongrel/Ruby/Merb/ORM (or something like that)? They have roughly
2-3M page views per month.
1.a) No matter how good they think I am, wouldn't it be smarter to move
forward with M$ since that's what they've got already? I don't want to
be the guy who screws them deeper into the hole by really confusing
I hate it when new dudes come in with their "stack" and bias
development based on their preferences withou considering what's
already there. I'd rather walk away from this if Microsoft is really
their odds-on smart choice (i.e. I don't need the money - I have some
personal relations that led me here). All I want is the company to be
2) Their MS SQL setup is relatively fine. Lots of wacky stored procs
which bug me but mostly it's fine. Am I crazy to try to run MS SQL
against Ruby/ORM? Seems like there are some people doing it?
3) If I do this, I'd plan to segment this site into two separate boxes
and run the Ruby on a Linux box (and maybe outsource that management to
a group like EngineYard). Then have the LB's split traffic between the
boxes based on url patterns. Again: crazy? unwise? Currently they're at
rackspace which knows poodle about Ruby/Mongrel afaict.
Context: The front-end site is not impossibly complex. But there is
"deep" integration with some backend admin processes which run a large
part of the business: some crm, PPC, finance/accounting, email and
billing: all partially implemented and built in hand coded ASP. It's a
real tangle and it breaks all the time right now. I want to get most of
these processes out into third party systems with much narrower points
of contact between the production DB's and the specific admin services.
This can only happen incrementally over time. This is in addition to
the front-end websystem migration.
Budgets for this work are not tiny but not enormous. Ditto timeframe.
Maybe $250k over 6-8 months.
Any tips or advice on taking on large migration projects such as this
would be appreciated. Advice such as "run!" is welcome also. I realize
there are no definite answers - I'm just looking for experience or
advice on how to reach conclusions here.
I realize this is horribly off-topic and impossibly vague. And I
wouldn't ask for this input, except that I highly admire and regard the
capabilities and experience of many people who are on this list. I
can't think of a smarter mail list who could help advise on this. Any
assistance at all will be greatly appreciated.
p.s. Anyone who has possible interest in this project professionally
can also contact me directly off-list.
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