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Get your exclusive beta invite for this next major release, including design-your-own tables, CRM custom fields and more.
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Long time readers of this blog already know that we’re teetering on the edge of a major release.

The first part of this release includes both new modules and improved tools:

Because this a major releases requiring fundamental changes in the way the WORK[etc] code works, for the first time we’ll be doing a limited “opt-in” beta release before making it available to everyone.  If you’re keen to put your hand up for the beta, request your beta invite here.

Please note that we can only accommodate 20 accounts in this first run beta.  If you do miss out, don’t worry as the full release will be just around the corner.

If you do happen to be one of the lucky 20, you’ll receive an email next week once your account is moved across to the new beta.  Please make sure you have your time zone settings set in your account as we’ll endeavour to migrate your account sometime from 7pm to 7am your local time (although this would only involve <5 minutes of downtime).

We should also have Xero, Quickbooks Desktop and improved Google Contact Syncs available on a different beta program shortly.

Infrastructure Upgrade

The other big news is that we’ve commissioned a hardcore infrastructure upgrade, due for installation before March 1st.  This gives us the capacity to a) improve performance on all accounts and b) triple the size of the WORK[etc] business.

For anyone harbouring an inner-geek, this is how our infrastructure has grown:

YearHardware & Network Used
2007 – 2008
(development & beta)
  • 1 x server (Core 2 Duo E6600 4mb cache)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2 x 250GB HD in Raid 1
  • 10MB/Port @ Calpop
2009
(full release)
  • 1 x server (Opteron 2218 HE Dual Core CPUe)
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 3 x 250GB HD in Raid 5
  • Netscreen basic firewall
  • 100MB/Port @ Peer1 – Fremont
2010
  • 1 x web server ( Opteron 2218 HE Dual Core CPUe)
  • 1 x database server (Intel Xeon Quad-Core 5420 CPU)
  • Combined 36GB RAM
  • Juniper dedicated firewall
  • 4 x 146GB SAS HD in RAID10
  • 100MB/Port @ Peer1 – Fremont
  • Number of RAM, HD upgrades throughout 2010

We also spent a decent amount of time reviewing cloud alternatives such as Amazon and Windows Azure but concluded they would either a) not provide the database performance we would require (cost vs performance), or b) would require a significant code rewrite.

 

2011
  • 2 x web server ( both with 2x Intel Xeon E5620 2.4 GHz)
  • 2 x database servers (both with Intel Xeon E5620 2.4 GHz)
  • Foundry Server Iron Load Balancing
  • Combined 48GB RAM
  • 4 x 300 GB SAS HD in RAID10
  • Juniper dedicated firewall
  • 100MB/Port @ Peer1 – Toronto
  • Number of RAM, HD upgrades throughout 2011including switch to SAS storage

This was a major upgrade for WORK[etc], providing a fully redundant server and storage setup (in addition to the network redundancy offered by Peer1)

 

2012
  • 2 x web server ( both with 2 x Intel Xeon E5620 2.4 GHz)
  • 3 x database servers (all with Intel Xeon E5645 2.40 GHz Six-Core, 12 Threads )
  • Foundry Server Iron Load Balancing
  • Combined 240 GB RAM (!)
  • 8 x 200 GB SSD‘s in RAID10 (1)
  • Juniper high-capacity dedicated firewall
  • 1000 MB/Port @ Peer1 – Fremont
  • 1 x Offsite Server with 4TB (terabytes) of secure storage

So in just a bit over 2 yrs we’ve gone from a single machine to a hardcore, fully redundant, SQL Clustered, Load Balanced solution.

Whilst 2011 was all about redundancy, 2012 is clearly all about performance. The upgrade to 72GB of RAM in each database server as well Solid State Drives (SSD) for storage will deliver the blazing performance we all deserve. The other addition in 2012 is a move to our own dedicated, off-site back up solution providing for daily backups with a 14 day retention.

During 2012 we’ll be looking to add to this with dedicated infrastructure in Europe as well as employing a dynamic Content Delivery Network to fully optimize traffic between your computer and your closest WORK[etc] server.

Don’t forget to register for your beta invite!

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