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Showing posts from October, 2018

Docker: Putting things together and pulling them apart

My favourite fictional scenes involve groups of people eating around a table, behaving badly. I think of Margaret Atwood's Edible Woman, or the movie "August: Osage County". Or the tea party in Alice in Wonderland.

What works well in narrative is often the opposite of what works for computers - the worst computer mess-ups often involve a collection of badly behaving pieces that manage to make a mess much larger than any of the badly behaving pieces could do on their own.

As a timely example, a client of mine that ill-advisedly used a generic host for their WordPress site recently had the site go down a few times. The host first told them they were a victim of a Denial of Service attack, but now thinks it was due to an incompatibility between their server and some backup software that was generating an unexpectedly high load. At the same time, the contact at the service provider was trying to fly down to Brazil for a family emergency and had gotten stuck in an airport due…

My Journey into Containers

This is a short story about how I've ended up learning more about Docker and it's associated technologies than I had planned. I'm not calling it "my docker journey" because, while Docker has done a great job of making Linux containers useable, there's no need to conflate container technology with the company. I'm a late-bloomer kind of person, not an early adopter, so it's a bit surprising to find myself in this position. I manage Drupal and CiviCRM hosting for a collection of non-profits in Canada. I started doing this 11 years ago, in spite of planning to avoid it, and after finding out that I could do a reasonable job of it, I kind of enjoy it. I'm a mathematician by training, and a (lapsed) Quaker by religion, so by nature I have a minimalist aesthetic. Add to that, my goal with hosting is to be as invisible as possible by keeping sites fast and reliable, so I really have minimal interest in experimental technologies. I generally do a strateg…