Providing Infrastructure to a variety of application and web developers, which ultimately serves the needs of 450+ million plus end users is tricky at best. Needs in terms of environments, monitoring, support, and SLAs varies from product to product and group to group, and Mozilla IT does its best to service them all.
To help scale Mozilla’s web operations team and enable more self-service opportunities for the developer teams they support, the web operations team begin participating in Mozilla Labs’ Project Petri initiative, which was formed in late 2011 to help integrate ideas and practices from “cloud computing”, specifically the goal of providing a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering to make it easy for people with new ideas for web apps to try them quickly, with minimal impact on IT/Ops, and with an on-ramp to making webapps that are better/safer/faster/more maintainable if the ideas they’re testing prove to be useful.
Late 2011 and early 2012 were spent exploring various options and Q3 2012 saw us chose ActiveState’s Stackato as the foundation of our in-house PaaS. Q1 2013 will see us launch our in-house PaaS into a developer beta with a goal of hosting production web applications in Q2.
Our talk with provide a brief history of Mozilla’s challenges, how we arrived at the decision to use the technologies we have, and explore some of our experiences in trying to create a culture that embodies DevOps through self-service tools, documentation, sharing, and more.