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From James Fuller <>
Subject Re: Ant 1.7 alpha available for testing...
Date Mon, 31 Jul 2006 06:54:00 GMT
Steve Loughran wrote:
> jfuller wrote:
>> Steve Loughran wrote:
>>> jfuller wrote:
>>>>> Looks good during my first checks.
>>>> looks good on OSX 10.4.6, will be testing this release on a 
>>>> 'serious' build server farm over the weekend (rhe4).
>>> how many servers constitutes serious?
>> the system consists of 6 servers, in pairs of 2 (dev/critical 
>> towers)...allows client (and me) to deploy new build software (like 
>> ant) easily without taking down critical build servers.
>> These server pairs each cater to different groups and roles in build 
>> process which spans the globe;
>> Development build server pair: Is responsible for catering to a group 
>> of 40+ developers worldwide, e.g. builds the software and deploys to 
>> the same box they determine via svn branch/tag
>> Test/Integration build server pair: Is where we have to test 
>> integration with some other systems (mainframe db and some websphere 
>> specific stuff that is too much of a burden on dev build server) 
>> addition run functional and
>> Deployment build server: selects tagged versions for build, final 
>> processing with respect to security thingies and handover to 
>> deployment system...which then deploy to a test farm...which in turn 
>> is where the app itself is hit at speed and scale.
>> I doubled up in kit, because we had the resources....and I like to 
>> keep things simple when working at such scale...cfengine helps out 
>> with keeping everything in sync.
> That sounds like quite a rigorous process.
> yes, cfengine and lcfg can keep your stuff in control. There's also 

> games you can play with vmware/xen hosted images, where the real CPUs 
> just host the virtual machines, and those you replicate off managed 
> "gold" images.

yes, this is a technique I have tried, though I have to admit being a 
bit 'fundamentally' leary about vmware/xen. I have been burned a few 
times through the testing of software...which was failing due to issues 
with virtual machine, though there was little to indicate this..which 
meant many man hours spent fixing false positives. If I have any excess 
(as you can see) I tend to spend it physically replicating 
environments...though, if you say things are ok now a days...then I may 
give it another go (perhaps as an optimisation step first!)

> There is also
>  SmartFrog
>  Puppet

yes I have yet to use smartfrog in a commercial setting, though I am a 
big fan.

didnt even know about puppet, will take a look.

> both of these have a non-XML language to describe system configuration, 
> and runtimes to bring up distributed apps. I will cover smartfog in the 
> deployment chapter of Java-Dev-with-Ant (Jim, would you like to review 
> that chapter?), while puppet is something I know of but havent used 

would be an honour to review the chapter. just send it along.

> myself. It could be better at low-level linux config, because smartfrog, 
> being built on java and rmi, needs a lot more of the system working 
> before it can start configuring across systems.

completely agree.

cheers, Jim Fuller

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