[Systems] Rethinking beamrider

David Farning dfarning at sugarlabs.org
Sun Nov 1 19:28:09 EST 2009

After talking with Bernie last night I started rethinking the
migration to beamrider.

The challenge I see happening now, and getting worse in the future, is
the total dependency of the infrastructure on Bernie.  Based on his
ability to scale and the scaling needs of the infrastructure, we are
going to have to figure out how to make better use of his time.

The current proposal to move bits and pieces of Remora to beamrider
complicates our infrastructure and Bernie's life.

I would like to propose that we separate Remora from the rest of the
infrastructure by moving it, and only it, entirely to beamrider.  My
rational is:
1. Reliability -- Putting the entire Remora stack on one machine
eliminate the need for both sunjammer and beamrider to be up for
a.sl.o to work.
2. Security -- We could limit the number of people with access to
beamrider without affecting the community of people and projects
forming around sunjammer.
3. Admin -- Rather than than worry about administering beamrider
himself, Bernie could delegate that daily responsibility to someone
4. Cleaner install --  We could start from scratch with a clean OS
install rather than carry the existing baggage of Sunjammer.

Implementation stack from the bottom up:
Database -  Currently a simple database.  As we grow, It can be
converted into a master slave configuration for increased reliability.
 I still need to figure out what the shadow database does.

Data Files - Setup beamrider as a NFS server for serving the two
necessary data file directories.   asy to implement

PHP front end - This appears to be the cpu hog. Initially a single
instance can sit on beamrider.  Other instances can go on other
machines -- including sunjammer if necessary.

Perlbal (load balancer) - Initially a single instance can sit on
beamrider.  It would send traffic to beamrider.

-- Growth plans --
Initially - The entire load can run from beamrider.

As the load grows -  A instance of the php frontend can run on on sunjammer.

After outgrowing beamrider and sunjammer (I am predicting 6-9 months)
- Add a second Remora machine with a slave database and perlbal setup
as a loadbalance and heartbeat monitor.


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