[Mongrel] Some architecture questions for my mongrelian friends

Filipe Lautert filipe at icewall.org
Fri May 16 19:36:04 EDT 2008

The problem I see in your project is: if you use ruby + mysql, changing 
things they are used to, your projects needs to be perfect (no delays, no 
bugs, no nothing).
Now, if you go and use M$ things, your project don't need to be perfect, 
cause they are used to it and it's problems.
So it's up to you and your trust in your team. I'll tell you that ruby + 
mongrel can handle your load - it handles my geo application running with 
mapserver + postgis + oracle, so just rails + mysql are piece of cake for 
it :)



On Fri, 16 May 2008, public at misuse.org wrote:

> Hey,
> 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 their stack.
> 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 successful.
> 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.
> Thanks!
> Steve
> p.s. Anyone who has possible interest in this project professionally can also 
> contact me directly off-list.
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> Mongrel-users at rubyforge.org
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filipe {
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