It’s been over a year in the making, but CodeBetter.Com has finally settled into its new home. It’s been a journey from Community Server, hosted on two large Windows 2008 servers (SQL Box - Core2Quad 2.4 Ghz Q6600 4G 2x500G SATA RAID, Web Server - Intel Core2Duo E6850 DC 2G 2x250G SATA RAID) to WordPress, running on 4 small cloud hosted Ubuntu 10.04 small Linux servers. Our current architecture looks sorta like this:
Community Server running on Windows Server/ASP.Net has treated us well over the years, providing a solid platform on which we could grow to our current size. Increasingly however, server cost, Software/OS/SQL Server licensing (while currently deferred via BizSpark and free licenses from Telligent) was threatening our future ability to provide the kind of community support we’ve been able to do since 2005.
We had a lot of internal discussions about what platform we should use, and talked about rolling our own platform from which to blog but decided against it. I think Derik Whittakersaid it the best:
The fact is ‘blog engines’ are a dime a dozen. This is a boring problem which has been solved many times over… I say pick an engine that we can live with and move on.
There were lots of factors that pushed us in the direction of hosting with an open source blogging platform like WordPress, but some of the biggest were WordPress’ strengths : an outstanding blogging platform with massive community support and extensibility via plugins.
I’m going to be doing a series of posts on the more interesting things I’ve stumbled across in this journey, like using Python Fabric for automating the configuration of new server instances. I’m also making all of the tools that I’ve used and source code for the site itselfavailable up on GitHub, so if you’re interested in how anything around here was done, you should be able to glean the information there.