Part 1 of my Gibraltar test drive: hopes and dreams

Gibraltar,NancyFX,RavenDB 3 September 2012 | 1 Comment

In this series of blog posts I’ll be using Gibraltar on a new project and blogging my journey. I can thank @RachelHawley for giving me a push to try out Gibraltar and it so happens I haven’t done blogging for a while since my last encounter with Ayende reviewing my code 😉

So what’s my current setup?

Firstly, its rather bad, mainly because I’ve only ever used Elmah before as it just works.

Elmah is great for being plug and play but it does spit out lots of log entries when you have a weekly changing website. At one point it was so bad I was filtering out and discarding 404 errors. This was when we launched a new client website and we were missing lots of 30x redirects for older urls, it was an email error log DoS attack on my inbox!

I use Elmah to send emails rather than store to disk, the emails go to a GMail account, I have to manually go through and discard the bad error reports. I’m really hoping I could do cool things like *.php* or *phpmyadmin* 404 reports get binned, lots of bots keep trying to find WordPress, PHP files or PHPMyAdmin. I hate those bots filling up my logs…

I’ve only recently started logging via NLog and that is written to a log file on disk that I manually check if I notice something bad from the Elmah reports.

I don’t do any performance metrics, I’ve played with NewRelic but it was rather pricey and if the server isn’t maxed out, performance issues aren’t a big deal…

I am a terrible person.

My dream setup

I’ve already started talking about what my dream setup would partly be, I’d really love an intelligent interface that I can setup complex rules or folders to help split up the error logs. Separating the HTTP error logs based on HTTP code would be awesome, 404 into one group and 500 into another.

Logging other parts of the application is kind of not that important, the only bit of the application that I’d care about is the payment stuff and that’s only because SagePay is rather bad. I’m looking for Gibraltar to collect logs from Nlog or something similar.

Performance logging would be a bonus, I’ve already optimized the presentation stuff like CSS/JS so I’d want to know what stuff is really slow, taking lots of memory and what I should focus my effort on fixing.

But the main thing, is something that pulls all my logging bits together and lets me do deep analysis but also lets me quickly look if something needs my attention.

The project

I’m going to dive into the deep end, I’ll use Gibraltar on a brand new project for a client. The client wants a public facing equipment hire website that is modern, quick, and flexible.

The technologies I’ll be using are NancyFX (also something new to me), RavenDB (I love it) and Twitter Bootstrap to handle modern styling and mobile/tablet support.

Join me on my journey over this month!

One Response on “Part 1 of my Gibraltar test drive: hopes and dreams”

  1. Daniel Lang says:

    Good luck, Phil. I’m particularly interested in your experiences in running a public, non-trivial website with NancyFX. Quite a risky move I’d say.

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