Web Farm Framework IIS Bindings

Ok, so here is my approach to bindings in IIS using  Web Farm Framework 2.x. I have seen several ways of doing this, but all involved setting up replace rules for WFF and I didn’t want to mess with that.

What I do is, on my controller webserver, I add all of the bindings for each of the machines. In the drop down menu for IP address, you can manually type in the IP, and the server will let you add anything, regardless of it being assigned to the machine. Then IIS will accept the requests for which it has an assigned IP address, the rest will be there but not do anything. These settings will propagate to all of your servers in your WFF Server Farm, and you will be able to maintain your single point of administration for IIS.

WordPress Excerpt on Pages

WordPress is awesome, and I love it, but sometimes little things get taken out that frustrate me.  For example, in v3.1+ they removed the ability to add custom excerpts to pages.  This was a frustration for me, and I of course had to go out to Google to find how to make it work again.  That’s when I quickly found this nice post that clearly detailed how to add it back in.  Nice, easy to follow post with screenshots.  Nice work!

WP Super Cache Preload issues

I’ve been working on one of my other blogs trying to get the preload function working in WP Super Cache.  It seems pretty straight forward, but for some reason there are a couple of issues.

First, the timed preload of cache files does not seem to work reliably.  I had set it to 30 minutes with email notifications, and it would only go once, or twice at the most.  Beyond that it would just not do anything at all.  Once, I even turned off the scheduled preload and it did it anyway!

Secondly, even when doing a manual preload of the cache, the preloaded files get removed from the cache even though the description clearly indicates that supercache files from the preload will not be removed by the garbage collection.  I even went so far as to disable the GC with the same result.

I’ve created a forum post with the hopes of getting some help.  I’ll keep this updated as things hopefully progress…

WordPress nested shortcodes in custom fields

On my hobby blog PortlandBrewpubs.com I have a listing of all the brewpubs in the Portland area.  The list is pretty long (yes, its Beervana!) and quickly became a management headache to keep everything looking uniform.  I was looking around for way to standardize all my posts and ended up fixing up my own solution that was both free, and supportable as near as I can tell.

I started using Custom Fields in WordPress for all of the interesting bits of information in my posts to keep it standard.  I have one for all the useful Pub stats.  Street address, website, phone number, hours, etc.  This way I can fill in a value for each field and know I’m not missing anything.  I then use the very handy plugin Get Custom Field Values to display the fields in my Post.  In the beginning I had all the formatting for every post right in the post body.  This worked pretty well until I wanted to change the layout, at which time I realized it was a pain to update my site.  I would then have to go to every post and replace the body of the post content.  With over 40 pubs in town I didn’t want to have to do that every time.  I had to strategize a way to avoid this moving forward.

Continue reading

Unintentional load test

I’ve been a little out of touch with this blog in the last month or so. Ever since Thanksgiving things have been crazy, especially at work with the busy season.

Over the last year we have made some great efforts to dramatically increase our stability as well as availability by increasing redundancy to remove single points of failure. This was on many levels including the networking layer by introducing an HA firewall pair, and an HA load balancer pair. We also built out our server infrastructure by implementing 3 web servers for the load balancing, as well as clustering our database hardware and our application server hardware. All of this was intended to be able to easily handle the load of the retail busy season, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s weekend. To be able to really know how much we could handle we wanted to load test the infrastructure top to bottom. Continue reading

Photography, technology, and whatever else