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November 10, 1998

Maintaining Huge Web Sites

11/10/98 RMIUG Meeting - Maintaining Huge Web Sites

The Tuesday, Nov 10th meeting of the Rocky Mountain Internet Users Group (RMIUG) will feature a panel discussion on how webmasters maintain HUGE sites.

Our panelists are:

Don Milani (Don.Milani@Sun.com) is a Manager-Dude with Web Services Engineering at Sun Microsystems in Broomfield. Sun is the company that brought you Network Computing, Java Programming, and is currently a major thorn in Microsoft's side. The Web Services Engineering group (WSE) develops the global technology architecture, infrastructure and core services to enable Sun's Internet, Intranet, and E-Commerce business strategy. WSE runs SunWeb, Sun's Intranet site. SunWeb is the portal to ~3600 global corporate Web sites, contains more than 4 million pages, and is the primary corporate resource for news, information, tools, templates, techno-babble, rants and raves and was recently chosen as one of the top 50 Intranet Web sites by CIO magazine. In this presentation you'll learn about SunWeb's operations and best practices. Joining Don for the Q&A will be the Webmasters who run amok with SunWeb.

Don manages a team of 6 Webmaster wonks at Sun. His group's primary responsibilities include overseeing system needs and infrastructure services for Sun's Intranet (SunWeb) and Internet (www.sun.com) presence, and the company's internal ISP organization (SunIntraWeb). Don's background includes a prior incarnation as the Business Line Manager for Internet Operations at Exabyte Corporation in Boulder. He's been in the high tech field for ten very long years, working for a variety of companies including a couple of start-ups. Don has a marketing and general business background. He's currently reliving his teenage years with his 13 year old son.

Dave Goldhammer (Dave.Goldhammer@colorado.edu) is a Unix system admin in the Information Technology Services department at the University of Colorado. His group takes care of 50+ Unix systems, most acting in some sort of server capacity. Their major focus is running the systems that faculty, staff, and students use for e-mail, personal web pages, and general access to the Internet. The four "big" systems that provide these services have approximately 40,000 user accounts (ALL of which can have personal web pages) and typically handle 800-900 interactive users at any given time on a weekday.

A major responsibility of this group is running www.Colorado.EDU, which, until recently, was running on an outdated system with severely strained resources. Dave will discuss the problems and challenges they have faced attempting to provide good response times to very high volumes of traffic and allowing a wide variety of campus departments and groups access to the server to modify and update their pages. Another significant challenge has been planning for extremely high, but infrequent, peak usage times, such as the starts of new semesters. Dave has spent time looking at many aspects of big web server configuration and administration, including disk configuration, memory, networking, load balancing between multiple servers, access and security for diverse groups of web publishers, statistics and log files, etc... He will talk about where CU Boulder is now in terms of web servers and what plans, goals, and ideas they have for the future of the web on campus.

Dave has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and part of a masters in Telecommunications (which he doesn't ever plan on finishing). He has never worked in the "real world", and can usually be found playing ultimate frisbee or hiking and taking photographs when not doing this nerdy stuff.

Randall Gaz (gaz@xor.com) is a Senior Programmer in the Internet Technologies Group at XOR Network Engineering. The Internet Technologies group is dedicated to creating, maintaining, and hosting complex, high-profile, high-traffic web sites. He will discuss how XOR Network Engineering has sucessfully developed several high-exposure, high-traffic sites, including The Sporting News, GOLFonline, SkiNet, and others. The sites are engineered from the ground-up with performance in mind. Randall will highlight important decisions that were made in the development process to ensure that the web sites perform well while offering highly complex interactive features.

Randall has a Bachelor's in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has been instrumental in designing several large public web sites.

URL's of interest:

The meeting is Tuesday, November 10th from 7:00 - 9:00 pm (with optional 6:30 pm start for refreshments and informal networking). The meeting will be held at The National Center for Atmospheric Research at 1850 Table Mesa Drive in Boulder, which is located on the west end of Table Mesa Drive, up the hill, right under the Flatirons. For door-to-door driving direction, go to MapQuest (http://www.mapquest.com/ ), click on TripQuest, enter your starting address, NCAR's address, and voila! Park in the NCAR lot, go in the main door, and ask the guard to point you to meeting, which is held in the main auditorium, right off the lobby. The meeting is free and open to the public, but we may pass the hat to help defray expenses.

RMIUG appreciates the ongoing support from XOR Network Engineering (http://www.xor.com) for administration of RMIUG's electronic discussion lists & WWW site. Thanks also to NDA (http://www.nda.com) for sponsorship of refreshments for our group.

Consultants and companies are invited to bring Internet-related product information, brochures, and business cards which will be displayed on an information table.

We will be giving away several copies of the 1998 book "Poor Richard's Web Site: Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site" by Colorado author Peter Kent (PKent@TopFloor.com). http://www.poorrichard.com/ has more details on the book, which was "Book of the Month" in BYTE magazine.

There is an email mailing list set up for this group. General information can be obtained by sending an Email to rmiug@rmiug.org which will generate an auto-reply message that tells you about the lists and how to subscribe. You can also reach the RMIUG "Executive" Committee at rmiug-comm@rmiug.org. Our WWW site is at http://www.rmiug.org/

(To suggest a topic, send your idea to rmiug-comm@rmiug.org)

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