One of the issues that I have run into several times is the securing of access to server farms. You generally end up with a ton of keys laying around and it gets really messy. At one of my past jobs, they had written a pretty killer tool that gave me the springboard for pssh. Pssh is cool because it knows what servers you have by interrogating the AWS APIs, what keys they need and even what their internal DNS name is in your cloud.

So, enter pssh, the Proxy Secure SHell! a SSH automation tool suitable for use as bastion ssh server, or general hand holder. At this time, only works on AWS. Since it’s built on the killer @fog gem, it can be easily expanded to just about any cloud provider.

Wait, what?

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rooting with rvm

rvm (ruby version manager) is a kick ass tool that I use on a daily basis. It allows you to install lots of ruby versions, gems, gem sets, and what have you. You can test your app against new (or old) versions of ruby easily. You can also use it to manage rubies on a production system, for all users of that system.

Yes, you heard me correctly. After needling Wayne into getting root support built into RVM so many weeks ago, this is really the only way that I use it. There are a few gotchas however. I will go through my best practices for installing rvm system wide in this article.

updated: 8/1/2010 : @sutto and @wayneeseguin have baked root support into rvm – use that!

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Using RVM to benchmark Ruby

Screen shot 2009-12-16 at 5.19.10 PMOne of the things that I get to do is advise folks on web application architecture and backend process optimization. All of that is to say that I need to know how certain versions of things like ruby perform under different loads, and be able to advise people on when and where to deploy each one. For testing ruby and ruby programs, RVM is invaluable. I’ll take you through how I tested a slew of ruby version automagically in this article.

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Railsbridge BugMash VM

One of the things that came out of our rails bugmash team and time at Blue Box Group was that the real time killer was a lot of the prep work. Installing 3 databases, and all of the other tools and goodies can take hours which could be used mashing bugs and racking up points.

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Resources for learning Rails and Ruby

It’s been a while since I had to get my fingers dirty in code, and as such I am a little rusty. There are also some areas of Rails that I never took the time to learn. Luckly I found that the community has grown, and there are some great resources out there for the aspiring coder.

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