What tools do you use to help you manage your cloud, specially with rackspace cloud?

Things like Provisioning, Monitoring, Autoscaling, Alerting etc... I'm just a developer, and for a little while I'm on devops duty.

Here is some background information, of why I am asking:

I am a developer that has been managing several medium sized ( 300,000 to 550,000 page views monthly ) custom web applications. We are running them in one single rackspace server 16 cores / 32 GB Ram / Raid Stripping

Some of the legacy applications are not the better designed and can be resource hungry and the server has been known to be overwhelmed frequently.

Another company just adquired us and we now have to manage their sites. I estimate 350 more views a month.

We need to move into the cloud, because of adminitrative reasons, and are interested about its posbilities of autoscaling. However we are tied to Rackspace Cloud.

Configuration of the servers is no problem as we have several chef recipes to do most of the heavy lifting.

What we need is a way to spin up new servers easily, and something that monitors the servers and either alerts us and maybe create a replacement server.

I have tried to use Scalr.net but after a promising first day it everything went downhill. Then it started to behave erratically: - some servers didn't boot - others went into error mode - scalr wasn't receiving statistics ( so no autoscaling ) - at one time I deleted the servers and scalr didn't noticed

Im still waiting on scalr support. To tell you the truth rackspace maybe partially at fault, but scalr is heavily geared towards AWS so integration with rackspace isn't as solid. Rackspace hasn't been any help either. They are still to provide an explanation.

Then I tried Rightscale, my second choice because of price and openness, but it seems it suffers from the same problems as scalr. They make rackspace a second class citizen.

UPDATE: Actually asked a question :)


550k pageviews per month is roughly one every five seconds.

I'd recommend fixing whatever's making a very powerful server unable to serve 0.2 pageviews a second. Moving to the cloud is not a magic bullet in this sort of situation.

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  • We have fixed it, on a second version of our app. However we have to to run the first one for a while. Also the performance problems come with robots( google ), and high peak times ( lunch time ). I still want to know what people are using to spin off new servers, manage deployment etc. I'm not going to use the cloud as dedicated hosting after all – Mon Villalon Apr 28 '12 at 17:18
  • If Google's causing you trouble, log in to Webmaster Tools and adjust their crawling rate. – ceejayoz Apr 28 '12 at 17:19
  • Thanks, I look into that, however that its no the question :) – Mon Villalon Apr 28 '12 at 17:21
  • Your question makes the assumption that "moving to the cloud" will solve your problem. I find that assumption highly unlikely. – ceejayoz Apr 28 '12 at 17:25
  • I re-read my question, and saw how it really gave that impression. I updated the question hopefully for the better. – Mon Villalon Apr 28 '12 at 18:10

I work for Gigaspaces. We have an opensource, free product named Cloudify that can take any of your application, deploy, monitor, scale and self-heal it on rackspace as well as on many other private and public clouds without any code change.

Cloudify applies a devops approach with a recipe orchestration plan that takes care of the entire application lifecycle.

You can try the quick start guide for to experience it yourself in few minutes.

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  • 1
    Welcome to Server Fault! Please read our faq in particular May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?. – user9517 May 14 '12 at 19:04
  • @Iain What's wrong with the above answer? It seems to be to the point and he openly said he works for Gigaspaces (I do not work there by the way, nor am I affiliated with cloudify). – Ittai Oct 23 '12 at 9:39
  • @Ittai: There isn't anything wrong with the answer that's why it still exists. My comment is a nudge in the right direction only and I see I upvoted the answer too. Acknowledging you affiliation with a product is the first step. If you subsequently go on to answer questions on a variety of subjects and occasionally mention your product then the community is ok with this. Unfortunately, some people only answer questions related to their product and always push it, the community dislikes this kind of behaviour. – user9517 Oct 23 '12 at 11:55
  • @Iain got you. I agree with you. I don't know why but for some reason I "heard" a harsh tone in your comment. Thanks for being as active as you are. – Ittai Oct 24 '12 at 8:07

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