Wejoinin Blog

The latest scoop from your friends at Wejoinin

Server Transition Nuts and Bolts

Rails, Server Fun, Unicorn

When you run a Web app like Wejoinin on minimal VPS resources (read: we’re too poor to get a beefy server), it forces you to go lean. We started to realize a year ago that our out-of-the-box Rails and nginx/Mongrel setup was starting to show its age; resource utilization would climb every so often and we’d have to kill and restart a Mongrel worker thread. Every so often the site would slow down to a crawl and we’d realize oh shoot, we’re swapping.Well, with last night’s Wejoinin push, we’ve upgraded our server environment a few ways:

  1. We’ve switched to prgmr.com with a killer deal on a 512MiB VPS. This is a step up from the 256 slice we used to hold at Slicehost at almost half the price.

  2. We’ve switched from vanilla Ruby to Ruby Enterprise Edition — advertised to take “33% less memory [when used with Passenger]”. It’s got a tweaked garbage collector, memory allocator and the ability to go in a tweak memory usage settings for yourself.

  3. We’ve set up Unicorn, the new HTTP server on the block. It’s special in that each worker is in its own process, meaning that the load balancing is done natively by the OS. Also, this means that should a worker process start to get bloated, we can take it down gracefully without touching the others. Really. We can trust the OS. Plus, Git’s doing it. Plus, Hsiu-Fan has a penchant for “unconventional” deployments. With all these tweaks, we should be seeing Wejoinin good and rarin’ to go. Let us know what you think!-Andrew