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ServerGrove Blog:
Deployment of Symfony2 applications with Ansible
April 02, 2014 @ 10:41:54

The ServerGrove blog has a new post today showing you how to deploy Symfony2 applications using Ansible, an automation tool that uses "playbooks" to define steps.

Ansible is a powerful automation engine that simplifies deploying systems and apps. Its popularity has been rising rapidly as developers and system administrators look for simpler ways to manage servers and deploy applications. The selling points of Ansible are: simplicity, agentless and extensible.

ServerGrove, traditionally a Capistrano/Capifony user, decided to give Ansible a try. They include the steps to go through to get the correct environment set up and how to execute commands on the remote servers. There's also an example of a sample task that updates packages on the remote server, moves a config file into place and restarts Apache. With this foundation, they get into the actual Symfony2 deployment, sharing their custom role that sets up the directory, clones the Git repository, runs Composer and executes an Assetic dump.

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Alex Bilbie:
Using Vagrant and Ansible for distributing educational course virtual machines
December 20, 2013 @ 11:23:40

in his latest post Alex Bilbie shares a guide for the steps he follows to create virtual machines for an educational course using Vagrant and Ansible with a PHP+Apache environment set up and ready to go.

In "Cursory Thoughts on Virtual Machines in Distance Education Courses" Tony discuses using virtual machines in courses to help distribute software and operating systems to students who increasingly more and more are bringing in very different devices. [...] At the very end of the article Tony mentions using Vagrant which is a small piece of software to help "create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments". [...] A better option [for managing VM deployment] would be to use another devops tool called Ansible which "is a powerful automation engine that makes systems and apps simple to deploy".

He includes both a sample Vagrantfile for configuring Vagrant and a YAML configuration for Ansible that sets up the VM, opens the needed ports and installs and configures the needed software.

Together the playbooks and the Vagrantfile can be distributed to the students and assuming they've installed Vagrant and Virtualbox for their OS they can be up and running with identical environments in just a few minutes.
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Setting up XHProf/XHGui profiling with Ansible
November 28, 2013 @ 17:56:51

On the blog there's a new post showing how to set up the PHP profiling tool XHProf/XHGui using Ansible for setup and configuration. Ansible is a radically simple IT orchestration engine that makes your applications and systems easier to deploy.

Once in a while I think about profiling my web applications to see if I can get them to run faster. There are cool tools out there like XHProf and XHGUI to help you do exactly that. And then I remember it took me quite some time to get it all set up... But now that I've started using Ansible I decided to document the set up process and share it with you. Today I will walk you through my Ansible role for setting up everything you need for profiling your first PHP script.

He starts with a checklist of things to be sure you have installed first (including XHProf and XHGui) and links to his yml configuration to run a "profiling" command. An example of the result (the XHGui HTML output) is also included.

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How do you manage many PHP projects? Lots of VMs?
February 22, 2013 @ 12:57:11

On there's a discussion that centers around the management of VMs and PHP projects in a multiple-checkout environments.

I have been using a Linux install for a couple years now and it has development checkouts (and matching databases + live data) for dozens of sites. Since I create a new virtual host for each site there hasn't been any problems piling more and more projects into this system. However, this computer won't last forever. [...] Should I setup a new VM + debian install for each project (seems like a lot of work). Should I just move everything to an external drive and point the MySQL data, MongoDB data, Nginx web folders to the attached drive? How do others handle this?

There's several suggestions made in the comments including things like:

  • Using Ansible for configuration management
  • Bundling the current linux install into one portable VM
  • Using Vagrant for VM management
  • Using source control that can be accessed from any device/VM

Have a VM management method you've found useful in your development? Share some about it here.

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