Nested if workaround for Nginx to allow a specific ip address access to a disabled site

When doing maintenance on a web application, you probably have a custom 503 site, showing your customers that the servers are currently lying on the operating table.

At the dynamic ridesharing service flinc, we touch a certian file on our reverse proxies (e.g. using capistrano deploy:web:disable) when maintenance begins. Nginx then serves a static “we’ve disabled the site for maintenance” site, instead of the actual content.

But wouldn’t it be nice to test your web application before going live for your customers? It sure would. Unfortunately, this is not as simple as a task as you might think, because you cannot nest if directives in an Nginx location and if is evil.

Read more →

Chef deploy_revision and Capistrano git_style

One thing that was annoying me for a long time, was that, using Capistrano deployment, you cannot spawn a new vanilla virtual machine, and bring it to a fully up-and-running state with just one Chef command.

make deploy_revision compatible with Capistrano, so deployments can happen with Capistrano, until we’ve decided to fully migrate to Chef, or to stick with the push deployment

Read more →