• Velocity 09: 10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr

    [blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYGMoH8C]

    Ein interessanter Vortrag über die effektive Zusammenarbeit zwischen Entwicklung und Operations bei Flickr.

  • Anatomy of a Stick Figure


    Nice tutorial for drawing stick figures.

  • Amazon Web Services jetzt mit günstigerem Cloud Storage

    Wem die Vorteile des Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) bisher zu teuer waren, bietet Amazon ab sofort die Alternative "Reduced Redundancy Storage" an:

    We are pleased to introduce a new storage option for Amazon S3 called Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) that enables customers to reduce their costs by storing non-critical, reproducible data at lower levels of redundancy than the standard storage of Amazon S3.

    RRS wird ebenfalls nach Datenvolumen abgerechnet, aber zu geringeren GB-Preisen als S3. Dateien, die im Notfall wiederhergestellt werden können, können mit RRS also mit geringerer Redundanz, aber eben auch zu geringeren Kosten in die Cloud verlagert werden.

  • Weeknote #5+6

    What a ride those two recent weeks were! I feel like the rollercoaster of my business had finally climbed the first peak and now is thundering downwards, gaining more and more speed.

    Drupal hosting

    Last weekend, the Drupal Dev Days took place in Munich. So far, it was the biggest German Drupal conference ever. Since work on the website took much longer than expected, I decided to delay its publication a bit more and use the Drupal Dev Days as the venue to launch our Drupal hosting products labeled DrupalCONCEPT.

    So, on Friday evening, I sat in my Munich hotel room, getting more and more nervous. Not because I had gotten the first time slot on the schedule for my talk "Drupal in the Cloud", but because I was becoming anxious how people would react to our business offerings. Well, in retrospect, the feedback I got there was nothing less than awesome! People came to me to ask me about details. Many were excited that we closed that gap in the Drupal services spectrum. The website design got praise, and I also got suggestions how we could make it yet more clear and informational.

    And besides all the talking, I could do my first business deals, too. Already during the weekend, KontextWork announced they were partnering with us to host their DrupalWiki SaaS products. During the week, other new customers started populating their Drupal webspace on our servers.

    The basic server infrastructure is running, but there are many construction sites we'll still have to deal with. No boredom in sight. :-)


    This week really was as productive as it was busy. Additional to all the business stuff, I recorded the first episode of my new podcast Drupal Talkshow with my co-host Markus Heurung. We talked about the Drupal Dev Days, of course, and about the international DrupalCons in San Francisco and Kopenhagen. We also took a look at the Devel contrib module. It was a lot of fun and we plan on continuing the podcast on a bi-weekly basis.


    It's not easy to keep a healthy family life when both parents are busy working on huge projects with deadlines to meet. I'm glad that working from the home office enables me to do my fair share of household chores and spend time with our sweet little daughter. Also, Carolin and I are lucky to have great relatives and friends that support us. We very much appreciate it that we're not alone in taking care of Amalia while the creche is closed like this Thursday and Friday.

    Overall satisfaction rating

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) (on a 5-smiley scale)

  • Weeknote #4

    Website work

    I really crushed it last week to finally get the web hosting website done. And apart from minor touches, it's done and online. I decided to keep the site under wraps, though, to ceremonially reveal it at the Drupal Developer Days that take place in Munich next weekend.

    IT infrastructure

    Let me tell you: It takes a lot of effort to make IT management effortless. While I still stand by my decision to automate everything from the start, it's not always easy to accept the price of a lot more preparation work. Just whipping up some servers wouldn't have taken me that long, but if you want to build automated processes, you have to think them through before you spend even more time implementing them. I had planned to go live with our Drupal hosting products in April, but there was just too much tech to handle.

    (Warning: Sysadmin talk ahead) Last week, I decided to upgrade Chef to 0.8 because 0.7 has seemed really outdated for some time now and I experienced some confusing behaviour with our installation, too. The upgrade took almost a whole work day because one new component called RabbitMQ didn't want to start but neither didn't give useful error messages. I had to do some test installations on fresh servers and eventually found the cause in a discrepancy between DNS and the /etc/hosts file. Additionally, a software packaging bug in the chef-server package (a wrong symlink, as I later found out) broke the Javascript that's essential for the Chef web interface. That wasn't a big deal, though, because Chef 0.8 introduces a new utility called Knife that lets you manipulate configuration data from the command line. And no GUI is as good as no GUI.

    Working with tools like Chef is an investment that'll pay off eventually: With those automated processes, we'll have to invest minimal effort into maintaining and growing our infrastructure later.

    Business Development

    Getting the Drupal hosting website ready was my main goal for last week, and I'm happy to have reached it. Now I'm preparing my talks for the Drupal Dev Days which will draw some traffic to the website -- hopefully by many new Drupal hosting customers.

    After the conference, I'll concentrate on creating website content in the form of blog posts, knowledge base articles and podcasts.

    Family life

    I have to admit, starting a business while my girlfriend is writing her thesis isn't the best timing. When both parents are busy-busy-busy with deadlines looming, even the question who does the grocery shopping can become a conflict -- let alone the one who'll spend the next hours out on the playground with our 2-year-old.

    That's where I'm grateful for Gary Vaynerchuck's calming first rule in "Crush It!": Family first. Always.