Conference Call with Penn State
talking to Christian Johansen and the WebLion team, on August 26, 2008
Our discussion points for the call, in which we spoke to Christian Johansen, Eric Steele, and Eric Rose:
- Plone site hosting, because we're running into issues like how to best distribute Zope servers and how many Plone sites to put in each Data.fs
- Penn State has been using the opposite approach to Plone site hosting: each partner handles the hosting and administration of their site.
- The hosting service Penn State is about to launch (see https://weblion.psu.edu/trac/weblion/wiki/WebLionHosting) uses virtual servers running on Debian and VMWare ESX. That hosting service consists of giving each partner their own virtual server in which to run Zope and Plone. Another campus unit manages the virtual servers and VMWare and it probably has hundreds of virtual servers, all managed by one fellow, Matthew Scott. We are not going to be using that model (of one Plone site per virtual host); it presents the same (if not worse) problem as the model of one Plone site per Zope data file which we rejected because it would add too great a work load to Dan Petersen.
- The Plone hosting scripts developed by Eric Rose automate the upgrade of Plone versions, among other things. The SVN repo is located at https://weblion.psu.edu/trac/weblion/browser/weblion/hosting
- Penn State does not use buildout; they install products manually into images.
- Penn State will be using nagios for system monitoring.
- University of Louisville has a model similar to ours; they run 670 sites on a single Zope server (!). The guy who did it is Kurt Bendl (KurtB on #plone or #weblion IRC), who has moved on to a company called Six Feet Up where he is developing a successor to the SubPlone product called MassDeploy. A video of his talk is available at http://plone.tv/media/1099397685/view
- They mentioned their CSS Manager product that helps customize a site on the fly.
- how often to upgrade Plone versions and how to tackle them, how to minimize Zope server restarts
- Penn State partners handle all version upgrades. There are about 100 people on campus who know how to use Plone, 10 of whom are system administrators. Guy Heckman of Smeal knows upgrades; he uses many different products.
- Penn State partners are free to use any products they like.
- the emergency alert product we're putting together. The design document is here: http://www.uwosh.edu/ploneprojects/resources/developers/design-documents/emergency-web-notification-product
- Penn State is interested in trying out what we come up with but they need to have it work with more than just Plone systems. They too envision using RSS feeds to distribute alerts.
- Nathan's ATImageEditor and PloneTrueGallery
- Penn State wants Nathan's CV.
- They saw Jon Stahl's blog entry on ATImageEditor, and the product was demo'd at a recent WebLion user group. They see a lot of content producers wanting to use it.
- They do not know how the PLIP process works; they suggest going on IRC or mailing list and asking how to go about that.