Linux administration case study

Company package

Boost Communications is a mobile advertising company from Norway focusing on Scandinavian, UK and Middle East markets.

Our task was to build realiable solution for the core product and new applications hosting. Another goal was to prepare staging environments for developers and migrate services from previouse overpriced datacenter.

We collaborate with Boost developers on a daily basis to tune server configuration and maintain site security.

Configuration

We use Ansible configuration management tool to automate deployments and have better control over the servers. With all the changes stored in the repository we get better insight and possibility of easy rollback.

Virtualization

With virtualization servers resources are optimized. Virtual machines offer software developers isolated, constrained test environments. Our architecture has load-balancing capabilities and automatic failover during outage.

Monitoring

We provide active server monitoring and fast incident response. During work hours the company can contact us immediately with instant messenger.

Other services

We take care of other important services too such as: backups, databases, DNS, VPN, mail gateway, networking, firewalls etc.

  • KVM virtualization
  • Ansible configuration management
  • Nginx web server
  • Keepalived (VRRP)
  • Redis cluster
  • PostgreSQL database
  • Ruby and Rails
  • PHP
  • Overpriced hosting provider
  • No failover capabilities
  • No configuration management
  • Cumbersome admin contact
  • Reasonable price accounted per work-hour
  • Load-balanced architecture with failover
  • Instant admin contact
  • Collaboration with developers

Single server

Gear-up is a computer store operating in UAE and The Middle East. It is build on top of Magento engine.

Data migration

First task was to move Magento from shared hosting provider to a dedicated server. Dedicated server is faster, gives more configuration flexibility and allows to run background tasks such as nightly products import the client needed.

Server configuration

Web server configuration is based on Nginx which is faster than Apache2. We tuned MySQL database to support high request rate. Strict system privileges separate applications from each other and allows multiple developers to work on different projects. For developers we prepared testing environment as well. Entire configuration is automated with Ansible.

DSS-PCI compliance

Client requested to provide HTTPS support for secure transactions and DSS-PCI compliance. The server configuration is prepared to meet all the requirements and to pass security tests.

  • Ansible configuration management
  • Nginx web server
  • MySQL database
  • Magento
  • Inconvenient shared hosting
  • No background tasks
  • No testing environment for developers
  • Dedicated web server
  • Configuration flexibility
  • Easy contact with system administrator