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The technologies I discovered in 2012

It has been a busy year and with busy years comes a lot of new knowledge and perspective. What better time to reflect than at the end of the year.

by nick.schuch /


Over 2012 I have been exposed to new technologies that have progressed myself as both a developer and systems administrator. After going back through the list I have picked out 4 that I feel are “quick wins” for anyone looking at new approaches.

The technologies


In large hosting environments its key to ensure that a standard configuration is adhered to and all edge cases are documented for transparency; enter puppet. With puppet, setup of environments is automated and leaves all focus of why the host is being provisioned.

It has also helped me provision an awesome local virtual machine cluster for development purposes that is identical to production environments.

Puppet labs


Want a lightning fast website? Let varnish take care of it. Varnish sits in front of your HTTP server (apache or nginx) and handles the caching of page requests. This means less queries against your website and more availability to clients.

Varnish Cache

Capistrano Drupal

Want an easy way to deploy to multiple environments and environments with multiple hosts? Capistrano-drupal is the answer.

Capistrano-drupal is developed and maintained by PreviousNext’s Technical Director, Kim Pepper. With capistrano-drupal at the helm a deployment to a multi host production environment is as easy as:

cap production deploy

For an indepth look into capistrano-drupal check out Kim’s talk at DDU.



Jenkins in its simplest form is cron on steroids! After adding plugins from its vast library we now find we have a nice framework that we can run all kinds of Continuous integration tasks on for Agile development (as one example).

Some examples of continuous integration tasks are:

  • Automated deployments of code base.
  • Code quality checking.
  • Running of tests.

I highly recommend that others give Jenkins a go and see what it can do for you and your development workflow.



So after 2012 comes to a close I look forward to learning new things and discovering new technologies in 2013.

Please leave your "Technologies you discovered" down in the comments below.

Posted by nick.schuch
Sys Ops Lead