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Deploying with JRuby: Deliver Scalable Web Apps using the JVM (Pragmatic Programmers)

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Your website has just crashed, and you’re losing money. The application is built on Rails, runs on MRI, and is served up with Mongrel and Apache. Having this kind of infrastructure means that you’re managing more processes than you can count on two hands.

The background jobs are run with Resque,1 the scheduled jobs are run with cron, and the long-running jobs use Ruby daemons,2 which are monitored by monit.3 It’s going to take some time to figure out which component is the culprit because you have no centralized management interface. Standing up a new server will take almost as long because the infrastructure is so complex. But the website has to get back online if you are going to stay in business.

The problem I’ve just described is all too common. It has happened to everyone from small start-ups to large companies that use Rails to serve millions of requests. Their infrastructure is complex, and the myriad components are difficult to manage because they are heterogeneous and decentralized in nature. Even worse, Rubyists have become comfortable with this way of doing things, and many think it is the only way of doing things. But that is not the case.

The recent growth and increased adoption of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) as a platform for Ruby applications has opened many new doors. Deployment strategies that were not possible with MRI Ruby are now an option because of the JVM’s built-in management tools and support for native operating system threads. Ruby programmers can leverage these features by deploying their applications on JRuby.
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