Monday, August 17, 2015

Rebuilding Dependencies Frequently

Reddit asked:
how often do you rebuild your OS level dependencies?

In practice, around twice a month, due to accumulation of security updates. Sometimes bit-rot plays a role as well, but mostly, it’s the endless stream of updates. We want images to quickly launch into a secure state.

Waiting until the instance comes up to apply updates has two drawbacks: one, each new instance duplicates the work. Two, if there’s an update that requires a reboot, we’ve found through repeated, painful experience that there’s no way to reliably reboot our instances programatically.

IIRC though, that question was in the context of Docker containers, while our process is to precompile our app and its dependencies into a monolithic AMI that we deploy to instances in AWS. I like to think it’s basically the same, but I haven’t really used Docker much.

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