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Glimpse the inner-workings of 37signals and how they manage their web apps

I sat down with Mark Imbriaco to talk about life as a server admin at 37signals. Mark was the first official server admin that 37signals hired and has overseen a lot of their current architeture.

Show Notes
37signals has four main apps: Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire, and Highrise. They have a ton of small apps including: Job board, Signal vs Noise, Changelog, and Queen bee. 37signals has 40 servers, and a total of 125 OSes running. 3 Server admins work at 37signals. They use capistrano and chef to automate a ton of stuff. Mark tweeted it is hard to automate with chef when he can do it quickly on his own. Bare metal servers showed a 15% increase using production traffic, over KVM. 37signals uses Cisco Load Balancer, Nginx, Haproxy, Unicorn, and MySQL. Campfire uses redis now. Jamis Buck and Mark Imbracio switched the Campfire poller to Erlang. Erlang allowed them to switch from 300 fcgi processes to 3 erlang processes. Josh uses Eventmachine and RabbitMQ to power tweethopper Randy wanted to know if 37signals was hiring, and they arent right now. 37signals uses Nagios, Website Pulse, Circonus, and Ganglia to monitor their apps. 37signals uses a weekly on-call rotation now. Downtime is managed by fixing the app first and analysis later, sometimes hard for a developer to do. 37signals has around 60TB of data in Amazon S3. Mark says the cloud gets expensive when you need to scale up. They purchased 150TB San setup to start replacing their S3 setup Deploys push to the web servers and rails servers, so Nginx has the static content. They use mogileFS, they switched from NFS Josh Owens has used GlusterFS Dreamhost has cheap bandwidth! They are using Schooner MySQL appliances, they are seeing significant performance increase - around 300% 37signals uses the Percona flavor of MySQL (extraDB). Mark needs to do more Nuts and Bolts videos on SvN! statistics at SiteSentral (last updated on June 8, 2013). First thing first, let look at the website's popularity, is currently ranked #6,334 in the World among over 30 million websites based on Alexa Traffic Ranking Site Info at Alexa. You can check for more US visitor ranking at UVs at Compete and Traffic and Demographic Statistics at Quantcast. In SEO perspective, got a High Google PageRank level 7/10 (7 out of 10). For more detail SEO report (including social monitoring, content optimizing as well as usability) you can see Review at WooRank and see how fast the website load and its overall PageSpeed score at PageSpeed. For the website value, SiteSentral found that has the estimated worth of $834,842 USD and a total potential advertising revenue of $1,887 USD per day ($56,609 USD/month). The estimated pageviews of 237,926 Pages per day (7,137,783 Pages/month) that is expected at least consume a total Network Bandwidth of 76,136,356 KB per day (2,284,090,685 KB/month). And approximately 3,965 Hours per day (118,963 Hours/month) spent on the website by a total of 79,309 unique visitors per day (2,379,261 unique visitors/month). The website has similar traffic rank to,,,, Web Server Technology and Location, is using nginx, nginx web server

that is currently hosted by 37signals LLC company on the IP address of with nameservers:,,, (12 DNS records in total). The physical server of the website is located in Chicago, United States that can be spotted on the Map with Longitude: -87.650299072266 and Latitude: 41.874500274658. For finding who is behind the website, you can see Whois Record at DomainTools and Whois Record at for more detail.

Summary Table
Website: Web Title: Description Tag: Keywords Tag: Content Type: Site URL: Domain Keyword: Alexa Rank: Google Pagerank: Estimated Value: Estimated Earning: Estimated Pageviews: Estimated Visitors: Total Time On Site: Network Bandwidth: DNS Records: 37signals: Web-based collaboration apps for small business Goodbye to bloat. Simple, focused software that does just what you need and nothing you don't 37signals text/html, text/html 37signals, Length: 9 characters ranks #6,334 among 30 million websites in the World 7/10 $834,842 USD $1,887 USD/day $56,609 USD/month 237,926 Pages/day 7,137,783 Pages/month 79,309 unique visitors/day 2,379,261 unique visitors/month 3,965 Hours/day 118,963 Hours/month 76,136,356 KB/day 2,284,090,685 KB/month 1. A: 2. NS: 3. NS: 4. NS: 5. NS:

6. SOA: mname: rname: 7. MX: 8. MX: 9. MX: 10. MX: 11. MX: 12. TXT: txt: v=spf1 ip4: ip4: ~all Total DNS Records: 12 record(s) for hostname: 15 header field(s) nginx, nginx United States 37signals LLC 37SIGNALS - 37signals LLC City: Chicago, State/Region: IL Illinois, Postal Code: 60607, Area Code: 312, Metro Code: 602. Longitude: -87.650299072266, Latitude: 41.874500274658, Time Zone: America/Chicago. Security Check: 1. WOT Reputation Scorecard 2. Safety Ratings Extra Reports: 3. Norton Safe Web Report More Others: 4. Web Pages Archived 5. Backlink Report 6. Similar Websites Last Update: June 8, 2013


HTTP Headers: Web Server: IP Address: IP Location: Hosting Company: Organization:

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What is capistrano

Capistrano is an open source tool for running scripts on multiple servers; its main use is deploying web applications. It automates the process of making a new version of an application available on one or more web servers, including supporting tasks such as changing databases.

What is in the name

Mankind constantly analyzes radio waves from outer space in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Since this analysis started, almost all of the signal sources have been identified. 37 signals, however, remain unexplained.