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From Steve Loughran <>
Date Thu, 12 Jan 2006 21:56:05 GMT
glenn opdycke-hansen wrote:
> Steve,
> I have been looking at using Ant for application deployment to multiple servers.
> I see there is a known problem with ant 1.6.5 where a sshexec request
> will close stdout.  This can be patched, but this problem is pretty
> serious since multiple sshexec requests would be needed.

Do you know if it has been fixed in ant1.7? If not, now is the time to 
get a patch in.

> I have been looking at the documentation for SmartFrog.  Can you point
> out a doc that describes the issues of deployment?

I would have a look at the overview presentation we gave at OSCon:

> This would include distribution of build files, execution of
> deployment scripts, configuration, and logging/notification?

Probably the best paper on how to use ant for large scale deployment is 
the "Advanced deployment" chapter in Java Development with Ant, in which 
we covered how to use property files to control uploading of build files 
to different targets, then remotely executing them. I probably used 
ftp+telnet though, not scp/ssh.

Smartfrog is not a scripting tool; you are really trying to describe the 
static system state; which things should be running in a correctly 
functioning system. It just so happens that to deploy some thing you 
need to run scripts or do other actions in a sequence, so there are some 
workflow components you deploy to run stuff in a sequence, handle 
failures etc. A lot of the examples (and real stuff)  has tended to drop 
down to unix shell scripts to do stuff like install apache, mysql, etc. 
One of the things I did after joining the project was try and add more 
platform independence, with constructs like Ant's file type, and a 
better java runner, for java execution (that is a bit unfair, as 
smartfrog has always been really good at deploying stuff in new 
processes, but I needed separate process execution to escape from the 
security restrictions of signed-code-only).

Logging and notification. hmmm. Logging is done, though logging in a 
distributed system is part of the ongoing problem of "how do you monitor 
distributed systems properly". It helps to have all the clocks in sync, 
otherwise it becomes hard to determine the 'absolute' order of things 
happening. Realistically, there is no absolute order of events in a 
distributed system, we are all radio astronomers looking at distant 
events in the past, trying to work out why a server disapperaed for no 
apparent reason.


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