In OtherInbox, almost every system administration task imaginable is carried out using Ruby, meaning we as developers can enjoy all of Ruby's expressive benefits and spend less time scripting the shell, writing cron tasks, or using other languages. Because we make fewer context switches from thinking in Ruby to thinking in other languages, we also reap a big productivity benefit.
Using Ruby throughout our cloud also means that porting the application to run in different production environments is a trivial task, because Ruby is the glue connecting the Ruby components together, thus all we require is a Ruby interpreter to deploy.
Two key Ruby technologies have matured in the previous 18 months which make it ideal for almost every layer of managing a cluster of servers:
- god.rb allows fine-grained process monitoring and daemon control (a la monit)
- rufus-scheduler enables Ruby-based scheduling (replacing cron, and providing a great facility for running daemons that must be executed on a recurring basis)
- Ruby standard library utilities (File, FileUtils, etc.)
- Capistrano (for any kind of remote application, not just Rails)
(cross-posted from the OtherInbox blog)