Moving Data Centers with Chef

Moving data centers is scary, make it less scary with Chef, U-Haul not included.

@mtldo + @cfortier at #chefconf2014

At ChefConf 2014 this year, Chris Fortier and I had the privilege of presenting on the challenges of moving from a physical data center to the cloud. Beyond the move, we had to move towards more automation and a hands off approach to managing servers. This meant learning Amazon Web Services in depth and getting Chef onto every one of our machines. The result of our work was a library of cookbooks that could reliably work in three distinct locations: physical servers in Rackspace, laptops in our SoHo office, and cloud instances in AWS. As we developed these cookbooks we gradually improved our process and testing techniques. We reached a flow that kept cookbooks tested and trustworthy no matter where we launched. This also gave the whole team visibility into system changes that would have been easily missed otherwise.

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Behance wins a Webby Award for Best Navigation/Structure

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, and we’re thrilled to be included among this year’s incredible list of winners! This round, Behance took home the webby for Best Navigation/Structure. A big thanks to The Webby Awards and everyone who voted for us. Our team here at Behance couldn’t be more excited!

Behance Wins a Webby!

Learn more about the Webbys and check out the other amazing winners and nominees here.

Meet the Team: Manny

Who are you and what do you do at Behance?

I’m Manny, a DevOps Engineer with Behance.  My team is responsible for the infrastructure that keeps Behance up and running.  We use a lot of different technologies to guarantee the best experience for the Behance community.  My recent focus has been on building software tools to automate the processes that tie all these technologies together.  Since we are a small team we don’t want to burden ourselves with redundant tasks; automating these tasks is key.

Manny

What are three desktop tools you can’t live without?

Macvim: I deal mostly with text and code. Having a good editor is really important.  Vim has been around a long time and has many plugins to handle every task imaginable.  This version, for OSX, does everything I need.

Evernote: This is my “to do list” and my “brain dump”.  Everything that comes my way ends up here in some form or another.  This helps me keep things in order.

Ag – The Silver Searcher: Again, having to deal with so much text, Ag lets me search through all of it quickly and easily.  In my opinion, it’s by far the fastest plain text search tool around.

What have you worked on recently that you’re extra proud of?

We regularly have to roll out changes to our systems to fix issues or improve performance.  Whenever a change has to be made, there is always a risk that those changes may have an unexpected impact.  Recently, I’ve worked towards being able to simulate those changes before we make them on the live site.  This lets us test our new ideas in a safe place without worrying about affecting the site.

What are some startups that you’re a fan of?

Several of the startups that I’ve loved in the past, who have done great engineering work (like Netflix and Etsy) have grown too big to be called startups anymore.  I think they came from great roots and still deserve mention. On the horizon, I see “The Internet of Things” growing everyday. Google is even showing an interest now after their purchase of Nest.  A startup I’m watching in this field is Smartthings.  They are trying to make every device in your house smarter, providing feedback about what’s going on in your home. Since their system can be dropped into any home I think it has the potential to go really far. Another startup that I have to mention is HirePurpose. They are out of NYC and I have had the privilege of working with them before. They have a noble cause and are working with different military branches and government departments to make the lives of veterans better. I am really rooting for their success.

What do you listen to while working?

Recently, I’ve been a big fan of Spotify’s discover page.  It’s one of the places where I discover new music. When I want something more familiar, I’ll go back to my playlists. It’s become an eclectic mix, ranging from Celia Cruz to Porcupine Tree.  Though most recently, I think I’ve been listening to Rocket & The Ghost and the Bastille songs that get less radio time. Bastille’s cover of “Rhythm of the Night” is haunting and brilliant.

 

Behance Success Story: Amr El Kouedy

We recently got an email from Amr El Kouedy, a user since 2009 who has not only found his dream job, but also an amazing creative community he didn’t even know existed around him.

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“I am a twenty seven year old Egyptian, living my dream in Dubai as successful digital designer at dubizzle.com, one of the biggest classifieds website in the region. As cheesy as it sounds, it is all because of Behance.

I joined Behance in 2009 and uploaded my first project as a junior designer. Using the amazing platform for five years, I grew more and more, learned from the best, and inspired the younger desingners. Yet, I never realized how this platform can impact my life.

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A Closer Look with Jessica Henderson

How long have you been in design?
I worked as a full-time designer immediately after I graduated college about 7 years ago. I worked in-house in a University marketing and communications department while going to grad school and switched gears to become an assistant professor after graduating with my MFA about 3 years ago.

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
For sure. I very much have one foot in the “fine art” studio and one in my office. The work I do for clients is strategic, objective-based and bottom-line driven while my studio work is entirely self-directed. I love the freedom to wander here–to not have an explicit strategy or game plan. There’s room for ambiguity, surprise and tension that is typically less desirable in the client-work I do.

A Closer Look with Jessica Henderson

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Most Appreciated Projects: Monthly Roundup

Appreciations are a way to send genuine kudos to another creative professional on Behance. This is our community’s way of curating the network, so that the best projects gain the most exposure. Here’s a look at two of the most appreciated projects on Behance this month:

 Most Appreciated

Maxim Shkret of Krasnador, Russia, re-imagines predators (specifically a bear, fox, and lion) in 3D Vector Graphics. See the full set here (bonus: they’re for sale)!

Most Appreciated

26 letters, 26 materials. FOREAL’s goal was to create a fully sculpted alphabet, using materials ranging from stone and wood to the unexpected (icing, skin, moon, and more)! View The Sculpted Alphabet.

 

 

Vote us to the top of the class!

Behance & 99u have been nominated for Webby Awards in the Community, Blog & Design categories. We are so honored by our nominations and appreciate your support. Voting details below!

Nominee – Vote For Us!
Web Category – Best Navigation Structure
http://pv.webbyawards.com/2014/web/website-features-and-design/best-navigationstructure

Web Category – Community
http://pv.webbyawards.com/2014/web/general-website/community

Web Category –  Business Blog (99U)
http://pv.webbyawards.com/2014/web/general-website/blog-business

Honoree – Thanks!
Mobile & Apps Category – Best Visual Design (Aesthetic Honoree)
http://pv.webbyawards.com/2014/mobile-apps/all-devices/best-visual-design-aesthetic/honorees

Mobile & Apps Category – Social Honoree
http://pv.webbyawards.com/2014/mobile-apps/all-devices/social/honorees

Behind the Project: Stamps, Post Denmark

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Peter Dam is a Odense, Denmark- based illustrator and designer. “Stamps, Post Denmark” is his first project on Behance.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I was working on another project making a visual portrait of Denmark. When surfing the web for pictures of Denmark, I suddenly spotted—between two pictures of Hans Christian Andersen—a funny picture of a plate with two pieces of danish. I remember thinking “that’s so typical of Danish culture!”

Later that day, I was waiting in line at the post office and saw a new stamp series with a motif of Danish allotments in the sun. That was also so typical of Danish culture!
btp- stamps1 Read more →