Best Practices and Anti-Patterns for Workers and MQs

Best Practices and anti-patterns for workers and message queues

Thanks to Ruth Hartnup for the base image! CC BY 2.0

If you’ve been programming for a while, it’s probable that someone, somewhere, has recommended the Gang of Four book.

The book dissects Object Oriented programming. It lists numerous ways of royally messing things up, but it’s claim to fame is that it also lists ways to do it right! These well tested paths to success often come with explanations for when to use them and why they’re good at avoiding common pitfalls.

These are design patterns. They’re embedded in the culture of programming, and they’re an amazing way to learn from others’ mistakes. At the outset of any project, a lot of paths are open to you. Design patterns illuminate the dark paths from the healthy, low stress approaches.

Today, we’re releasing our very own set of best practices and anti-patterns in the form of a white paper. It’s a quick read and will save you time as you tinker on your own workers and message queues. So, what do you have to lose?

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Upgrade to IronMQ v3 in Under 30 Minutes

Upgrade to IronMQ v3 Today!

Thanks to Johan Fantenberg for the base image CC BY 2.0

Earlier this week, Iron.io Customer Success Engineer JPK and I sat down with Michael Geneles and Stephen Kamenar from PitchBox to discuss their transition to IronMQ v3. Last Friday, they made the transition in less than 30 minutes! We were so impressed, we asked them for the details of their experience.

First, how does PitchBox leverage IronMQ? PitchBox helps marketers find online influencers. To accomplish that they crawl blogs and social media. Then, they run some fancy algorithms voodoo magic to process the results, and boom! Marketers are matched with their ideal influencers.

PitchBox’s dashboard is written in PHP. But, their crawler is an event driven NodeJS app. A couple thousand websites may need to be crawled and parsed at any given time.

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First Class Support for Docker: Better Service, More Legroom

First Class support for Docker

Thanks to Richard Moross for the base image CC BY 2.0

“Docker, please visit the front desk to receive your complimentary upgrade to first class seating.“

That’s right, Docker just received a first class upgrade on Iron.io. A ways back, Travis (our digital frontiers-man of a CTO) announced beta support for Docker. Today, we’re ripping off the beta tag. Docker is our preferred way to package code.

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Message Queues & Workers: the Heart of Modern Infrastructure

Message Queues + Workers

Thanks to Sonny Abesamis for the base image! CC BY 2.0

Increasingly, message queues and workers are intertwined with the language of modern infrastructure. You might rely on explicit solutions like IronMQ or IronWorker. You might not. Whether you do or don’t is irrelevant: MQs and workers are in everything these days.

MQs and workers are hidden heroes, quietly powering a lot of the technology that many of us rely on. They’re core components in programming languages, MVC frameworks, and even web servers.

As a result, when making infrastructure decisions a good understanding of both MQs and workers is essential. The white paper below will take you from a fuzzy understanding to a well-versed conceptualization for both MQs and workers.

Download the latest white paper from Iron.io: a Refresher on Message Queues & Workers.
Give it a read and let us know what you think!

Project Thor Will Deliver First True Hybrid IronWorker Solution

Today, Iron.io announced Project Thor, which is developing the world’s first hybrid job processing system. This is unlike anything we’ve done to date. Unlike previous IronWorker technology, Project Thor is architected to deliver the power of Iron.io to any server in the world in minutes.

With Project Thor, the Iron.io IronWorker Docker container is deployed on a company’s own servers, which then communicates with the Iron.io API. This brings the power of Iron.io’s event-driven computing service to the Enterprise in just a few easy steps. Project Thor seamlessly integrates with existing solutions for container deployment, such as OpenShift by Red Hat, Cloud Foundry, OpenStack and Kubernetes.

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Full Docker Support for IronWorker

A couple of months ago, we announced a new workflow for IronWorker based on Docker that enabled you to test your worker code locally on the exact same environment as it is when running on the IronWorker cloud. The initial feedback we received was pretty consistent: “This is great, but can you make it more flexible when it comes to using images?”

Up until now, you had to use one of our predefined Iron.io images (or stacks as we used to call them). Although these images cover most major languages and OS packages that you might want, that didn’t match the needs of all users.  At Iron.io, we know empowering the developer is key. That includes enabling developers to make choices about how they use Docker.

Today, we’re announcing full Docker support allowing you to use any Docker image, including your own custom images. This feature is in beta and is only available on dedicated accounts to begin with, please contact us if you’d like to try it out.

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DockerWorker Unplugged

Today, the world revolves around developers. Digital businesses are becoming a significant part of the landscape. Traditional business thrives on its responsiveness to customers and how it handles business data. People used to talk about the Era of Information Technology, however now we’re in the Era of the Developer.

Fast-moving businesses recognize the need to give developers the tools, platforms, and application services developers require to get things done. Equally important is getting obstructions out of the way of developers and allowing them to move fast. What do developers need to be successful in this modern world? They need self-service, on-demand capabilities, immediate scale, and little to no operations. Simply put, developers want to write code – and do so in a manner that lets them focus on writing code without having to manage tools and infrastructure. The overhead of managing infrastructure or dealing with a mismatch between development and production systems, steals precious cycles from a developer’s main driver – writing code.

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Super Easy Serverless Slack Bots

Slack has a great API for building integrations and one of those types of integrations is called a “bot”. Bots are useful tools that can respond to messages the chat users type into a chatroom. For instance you could type in “what is the weather” and the bot would respond with today’s weather.

Bots are simply software programs that run on a server somewhere and when someone types in a special sequence of characters, in Slack, these usually start with a ‘/’, the message is sent to the bot. The bot then responds with whatever answer it wants to give and that answer is posted back to the chatroom.

Way cool. Buuuut… you have to run the bots on a server somewhere that Slack can communicate with and it always has to be running whether it’s being used or not. True PITA.

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The New Docker Based IronWorker Development Workflow

Creating a simple IronWorker worker can be quick and easy. But if you’ve used IronWorker to build a complex worker, you may have found the experience a bit cumbersome.

The reason is that sometimes you just don’t know if your worker will run the same way it does when you run it locally, due to the local environment or perhaps missing dependencies.

The typical development process for building an IronWorker looked something like this:

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Iron.io Releases Enhanced Security Package – IP Whitelisting, VPN, and VPC Support

Iron.io is pleased to announce the release of an enhanced security package for our IronMQ and IronWorker platforms. This package includes access to virtual IP addresses and support for virtual private networks (VPN) and virtual private clouds (VPC).

 

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