Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Circling Around Again

I've just finished "Three Day Road" by Joseph Boyden, an appropriate novel for this time of year when death is in the air, in a "circle of life" kind of way.

It's also just over 5 years since I started out working on my own, and a year since I started working again with a couple of old friends. One of those (Reema) has just found herself a real job so she'll be leaving us and I wish her well. Starting new things is usually harder and slower than I imagine, which is good, since I'd probably not bother otherwise.

At the machine level: we've just brought online a new server and moved all the services left on my oldest server in preparation to shut it down. Shutting down old servers is rarely worth it from a time/finances point of view, but it seemed like the right thing to do in this case, in spite of the backlog in client work I've now accumulated.

And of course, in the global scheme of things, death has the excellent function of making space for new things, and that's very true in this case. My new server is using pressflow and varnish to be super scalable for a couple of new big sites, one of which is already humming along on it (http://socialinnovation.ca). Rob Ellis has also installed apache solr on it, and it's a huge relief to be able to use it on my larger sites: compared to stock Drupal search, it gives better results, it's faster, and the site database backups are about half the size (having the search database being backed up always seemed ridiculous anyway).