It took a lot of planning, prototyping, testing and trial runs, but we’ve finally completed our migration over to amazon/aws.
What does this mean for you? It means significantly lower chances of down-time (our systems are waaaaay more fault-tolerant now), plus tighter security (we were always secure, but now even more so).
On our end we get to breathe easier knowing that our systems are fully redundant and scalable to meet demand, and we can start deploying new updates with confidence.
The rest of this post is a bit inside baseball, but I thought I’d share some details as we get asked about our setup quite often in support-land and at tech meetups.
About a year ago we began bumping up against walls that impeded our ability to move forward. These fell in to three broad categories: scalability, agility, and (as a result) marketing. Arguably these are good problems for a company to have (well, maybe not the marketing part), and while we had theoretical solutions for everything, the practical matter of implementation took quite a bit of time, a lot of learning and a few leaps of faith.
On the infrastructure front, our production architecture at Linode, while hyper-optimized (running arch+nginx), did not lend itself to easy scalability. Given a team of sysadmins we could have overcome this, but we’re app developers at heart. Enter aws: eb, ec2, rds, ses, s3 and route53 to save the day. While we still have a few things to tweak, we couldn’t be happier with the move. Major props to the boys at TriNimbus for giving us a hand.
On the agility front, our inability to efficiently work on isolated feature development was killing us. Branching-and-merging is not an area where svn excels. We’re now git across the board and cannot believe we waited so long to switch. We still use beanstalk for our repo origins because, well, they’re awesome. On another note, we made the mistake, in hindsight, of outsourcing some of our mobile app development. We were running low on internal man-power (as our time was getting sucked into putting out fires), but in the end having a portion of our development outsourced really killed our iterative release cycles. As we were unable to synchronously release feature updates across all platforms we got stuck in the mud. So we’re bringing development back in-house. All of it.
On the marketing front, being in a scalability bind we weren’t in a position to bring hoards of new users into the mix — though we did welcome thousands of new users through organic / word-of-mouth referrals. Now that we have the infrastructure in place to support rapid growth, we’ll be kicking things up a notch to more aggressively get the word out.
All of which is to say that it took the better part of a year to dig ourselves out of the hole we made for ourselves. Building good software and running a solid business both involve continual improvements and course-corrections, and it’s nice to be back on a path with daylight again. We’re all pretty stoked for what comes next.
Nirvana is a GTD® task manager for Getting Things Done®.
Capturing thoughts whenever they occur and confidently drilling down to the thing you should be doing right now is at the heart of Nirvana — freeing your mind to be in the moment and focused on the task at hand.
This app is the mobile extension of the critically acclaimed, cloud-based Nirvanahq.com desktop app — the trusted system of thousands around the world, always in-sync, and now always with you.
We’ve been working on this for awhile, and we’re happy to announce that you can now direct email to your Nirvana Inbox as a Bcc: recipient. :-)
Say what? OK, in case you didn’t know, Nirvana lets you create actions by email. When you send an email to your Nirvana account, the email subject becomes the action’s name, and the email body becomes the action’s notes. You can find your Inbox address on your Nirvana account dashboard, or by selecting Getting Started from the pulldown menu on the top-right of the screen (when you’re logged in to https://app.nirvanahq.com/).
While you could always send yourself an email as a normal To: or Cc: recipient, you can now include your Nirvana inbox address using the Bcc: field, which comes in handy when you’re sending an email to someone and want to send a copy to your Nirvana Inbox without your recipients knowing about your Nirvana Inbox email address.
An added bonus: this also means that you can set up forwarding rules in mail apps such as Gmail to (for example) automatically forward incoming email with specific search patterns to also arrive in your Nirvana inbox.
If you have any handy use-cases or tricks for using bcc, please be sure to share the knowledge. :-)
Update – Reminder:
For those folks that have been with us for a while – if you are still using the old Email-to-Inbox addresses pointing to the Nirvanahq.com domain, you need to make sure you update to use the Nirvanahq.in domain (the portion of the address prior to the @ symbol remains the same). The .com addresses had been deprecated for some time, but with this change are no longer valid.
It’s time for the long overdue update on whats happening with Android.
After some discussion, and looking at where we’ve got to with Android to date, we’ve decided to abandon the current direction we were taking with the Android app. Instead, we’ve decided to go with the fine folks at WhereCloud to develop the Android version of Nirvana.
In the end, it is the right choice, and should lead to a stronger product on that platform. Thanks to all the beta testers to date who have shared feedback with us. For those of you on Android, you can continue using the beta if it helps you out on your day to day.
While we’re loath to give dates, I can tell you the timeline currently on the boards should see a v1.0 in about 2 months, barring any major hiccups.
A quick note to let everyone know that we’ve pushed out a bunch of updates to Nirvana. Here’s what’s new:
- Reference Lists
- Terminology Alignment: Tasks → Actions; Tags → Contexts
- Collapsable sections in left navi
- and a ton of other refinements
Will post a more in-depth look into what this all entails shortly.
In the mean time, detailed Release Notes are here: