The Machinist - Spring 2008

Written By : Bradley Taylor

March 25, 2008

Dear Machinists:

Welcome to another addition of our irregularly published newsletter of Rails Machine happenings. Without reservation, this is the best one yet as we’ve had a lot going on. Please read on…

I have great joy in announcing the latest member of the Rails Machine team, Dan Benjamin. Many of you know Dan from his excellent Hivelogic blog, work on Cork’d, and talks at several Rails conferences. Dan joined us as CTO this month and is helping to roll out new products and community services. Welcome aboard Dan!

After a few months of collecting and organizing the responses to 1000s of support tickets, Rob quietly launched our support wiki. There are a number of great articles on Machine tune-ups, software installation, and troubleshooting. If you haven’t already, please take a look and contribute.

A few weeks ago, we completed an upgrade and migration to our new AtlantaNAP data center infrastructure. Improvements include a new network topology based on Force10 E-series switches, consolidation of servers to our private cage space, optimization of backup infrastructure, installation of new firewall/IDS appliances and increased transparency of network traffic. In addition, we have doubled our capacity at our Internap facilities. Steve has worked tirelessly on these projects for 6 months and it looks great!

In early February, I packed up my Jeep and headed down to acts_as_conference in Orlando. Presented by Rails for All, this conference had everything that you could want in a regional conference: intimate, affordable, informative speakers, and free beer. The keynotes from Dan and Obie were inspiring. After Dan’s keynote, I threw a free party at the Ale House where the conference attendees ate and drank an impressive amount beer! Congratulations to Robert Dempsey and his team.

Speaking of conferences, in just 2 months, we’ll head out to Portland for RailsConf 2008. Dan will be speaking on Entrepreneurs on Rails and I’ll be on the Scaling Rails panel. And yes, there will be another party. Stay tuned for details.

Over the past year, I’ve been working on a concept called Machinix that focuses on deploying multiple instances of the same application capturing the best traits of both SaaS and customized installations. With Dan’s help, we finally launched a site for the service and hope to spread the good word of hosted virtual appliances to the people.

Last week, we updated the Rails Machine site with our new dedicated cpu core plans. I introduced these plans in December as a special and they were a big hit. We have discontinued offering the shared CPU plans to new customers, but existing customers can upgrade as always and prices will remain frozen. If you are on a shared CPU plan, you can also upgrade to a dedicated core plan easily.

What would be an issue of the Machinist without a hosting special? This is a good one so hold on to your Aeron:

Developer Sidecar: 512mb memory, 10gb RAID 1 storage, 50gb data transfer – $500 one time fee! No monthly or setup!

The Sidecar is the perfect complement to your existing service and will make an excellent staging or development environment. We can clone any of your existing virtual servers and save you hours of setup.

In order for us to offer this insane price for a lifetime service, we have a few restrictions. This is an add-on service and your account must have another full price service. We can not provide nightly backups, SLA, refunds, additional IPs, or 10.0.×.x network access. Additional resources require a regular plan. Only one sidecar per 4GB of existing service is allowed.

There are only 50 available at this amazing price. To reserve yours, please submit a new support ticket. The Sidecar will be available next week.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns.


Bradley Taylor

CEO – Rails Machine, LLC