Today, developers are playing a key role with more than just software-related issues. This is because they are handling operations in addition to well production environment issues and requirements. The production environment tends to be worlds apart from the development environment because services and applications are sitting on an array of infrastructure like app servers, database servers etc. To most people, the process of gathering requirements, coding, testing and releasing software to production might appear straightforward but it is not. This is because developers do not know the requirements that operations staff have to comply.
7 things to know about software production infrastructure
The following are the 7 things that a developer should know about production infrastructure:
The use of a file system for servers is something that developers frequently interact with. When they code using their own PC, their apps can utilize /home /tmp or hard-coded folders. However, when the app is at production, matters change. This is because /tmp can be cleaned up system folders on reboot as other numerous processes use it. /home is a user set up that runs apps while in production. The local storage of production servers tends to be limited because the bulk of the usage takes place on network storage. These conflicts can be avoided by ensuring that the file server paths used by your app are pre-configured and on deployment.
• There are more than just application servers
There are other servers out there like queue servers, load balancing servers, database servers etc. Usually, the app server acts as a secondary to the virtual IP in production. In cases where your app requires to recognize client IP, it is best to use an X-Forwarded-For header in the HTTP requests. This assists in the identification of the originating IP address.
• There is constant monitoring of production applications
Most times, developers focus on the product or feature’s core. They forget that production monitoring requirements need support. Your app will be monitored by traditional machine monitors as well as an application heartbeat monitor. The monitor is initiated by the load balancer, this generates heartbeat nodes every few seconds to guarantee that they are alive and if traffic can be easily routed to them. This is why developers should come up with appropriate API and support them to return heartbeat whenever the load balancer invokes them.
Developers should invest in logs if they wish to access and debug production infrastructure. This is because it is very hardened. They ought to be very informative to capture and document the behavior and history of an application. Remember to always use logging levels as they can save you a lot of time when looking for defects in production.
• Manage and control logs
Log files can crash apps because they can utilize the entire server storage hence no room for a new write application. The best way of preventing issues from occurring is the use of standard log mechanisms like log4j.
• Enterprise production systems tend to be locked down
Enterprise production systems will be locked down most times compared to development-based systems. Security considerations render internet access unavailable and prohibit inbound traffic. Apps with deployment processes that need access to the internet should use downloadable packages (within scripts) and local repositories.
• It is impossible to shut down production systems for the installation of updates
Production upgrades are released gradually or even to different environments to facilitate the best user experience, avoid downtime and decrease risk. Systems or users in the course of transactions have to be delicately shut down. This calls for a homogeneous software configuration to prevent the up from crashing during upgrade.
The above insightful information about software development infrastructure clearly shows the 7 things that developers ought to know. It can be used as a comprehensive guide.