The Stack Overflow (Stack Exchange) network is a Q&A network handling billions of requests a month using a variety of platforms to deliver content. A key to managing infrastructure is building everything with operations in mind. When deploying or building new applications, servers, and configurations management, monitoring and redundancy, is always kept in mind.
Building for operations includes having management and monitoring ties into every major application or deployed system; this includes basing decisions on which software to use weighing their monitoring and manageability. When building new applications, APIs for monitoring, exceptions, and overall health is key. Any configuration that can’t be deployed from source control should at least be checked into it, serving as a backup with bonuses like viewing diffs for every change.
Almost all of what we use to accomplish this is available on the web (redis, elasticsearch, puppet) and just needs applying, included what we’ve built in-house (SE Status). This talk will cover how to use these approaches to keep your network up, scale greater, increase redundancy, improve visibility, and reduce the time you spend doing it.
Steven is a SysAdmin on the technical staff for Stack Exchange (operators of great Q&A sites like Server Fault and Stack Overflow) and a Microsoft MVP in PowerShell.
Steven also leads two local user groups, the Greater Milwaukee IT Pro User Community and the Greater Milwaukee Script Club. He speaks regularly to local user groups and can be found at various conferences.
He has been programming for over 14 years and currently specializes in performance and optimization, mainly in the C# and SQL space. At Stack Exchange he maintains the search and database systems, keeps page load times low, and architects systems with performance, stability, monitoring and maintainability in mind.
I’m currently working as a systems administrator at Stack Exchange, making the internet better. I have about 11 years of experience running all sizes of networks from 1 man shops, to giant networks that span countries. I enjoy working with Windows, and *nix systems equally.
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