Windows PowerShell

FW01 Automation in the Real World - How Stack Overflow Does IT

August 15th, 2014

9:00am - 12:00pm

Level: Introductory Intermediate

Steven Murawski

Community Manager


At Stack Exchange – operators of the IT Q & A websites Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and Super User, among others – we have a dynamic, high traffic environment hosted on a minimal amount of hardware. The Stack Exchange network sees approximately 6 million people a day, with over 2 thousand hits per second, making us one of the largest networks on the internet. We're often in Quantcast's top 60. We are also one of the few high-traffic web start-ups built primarily on the Microsoft stack, with highly tuned applications and systems to provide the best response possible on the web.

Supporting this network is a team of four Site Reliability Engineers. That's not a lot of people, for a lot of Internet attention. Consequently, automation is a fundamental part of everything we do.

In this session, learn how this team of engineers gather situational awareness about the environment, how they use Puppet and Desired State Configuration to automate new system provisioning, and how single-click deployment make software deployment a non-event.

We will dive into some of the tips and tricks for building unified automation in a real-world, cross platform environment. Finally, we'll examine the importance of automation skills for our team and dig into the details of our provisioning and deployment scripting.

You will learn:

  • How the key considerations for deploying mixed environment configuration management
  • Strategies for minimizing the impact of production software deployments
  • How to maximize the effectiveness of a team by standardizing processes and building robust automation