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intermission helps you perform zero down time application maintenance

branch: master
README.md

intermission

intermission is a bit of OpenResty magic written in Lua to help you perform zero down time maintenance. At 37signals we use this to perform application maintenance with limited/no impact to the user. In our use cases, we "hold" the users requests for less than 10 seconds while we do our database maintenance via mysql_role_swap. The user sees a single long request, and things carry right along.

Design Concepts

Put an incoming web request on hold long enough to do bad things behind the scenes. Release the incoming requests in the same order they were received. Has zero dependencies.

Gotchas

Requests can only be paused as long the device sitting in front of it will allow. If you have haproxy deployed in front of your Nginx instance, make sure to check your "srvtimeout" values.

Getting started

Trying it Out (Local)

Advanced Usage

Many Virtual Hosts

If you have many virtual hosts running on one nginx instance, you most likely don't want to pause all of them. You can scope the pause to a virtual server by setting $app_name in the server directive of the virtual host:

server {
  # Stick the app name in an nginx variable for use with intermission.
  # Since we want it set for all of the app requests, set it at the 
  # server level.
  set $app_name <%= @app_name %>; 

  # ... rest of config ...
 }

Customizing Intermission's Behavior

What if your health check isn't at /up? Simply override the $intermission_health_check_path in the nginx config. What if you want a longer max pause time? Override $intermission_max_time in the nginx config. What if there's an external service like Pingdom and you always want their checks to succeed? Override $intermission_privileged_user_agent in the nginx config:

 server {
    listen       80;
    server_name  localhost;

    location / {
      error_log  logs/intermission-error.log debug;
      set $intermission_max_time 300; #seconds
      set $intermission_health_check_path /up/database;
      set $intermission_privileged_user_agent "Pingdom";
      access_by_lua_file intermission/intermission.lua;
      proxy_pass http://google.com;
    }
    # Hit /_intermission/[status,disable,enable]
    location /_intermission {
      content_by_lua_file intermission/intermission_helpers.lua;
    }
}

Getting help and contributing

Getting help with intermission

The fastest way to get help is to send an email to intermission@librelist.com. Github issues and pull requests are checked regularly.

Contributing

Pull requests with passing tests (there are no tests!) are welcomed and appreciated.

Contributors

License

 Copyright (c) 2012 37signals (37signals.com)

 Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
 a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the
 "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including
 without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
 distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to
 permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to
 the following conditions:

 The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
 included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

 THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
 EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
 MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
 NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE
 LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION
 OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION
 WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
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