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DZUG-Tagung #2: Zope/Plone coverage of live events such as the Assembly demo party

Christian Theune is part of the assembly web team (in form of gocept as being a sponsor) and presented his experiences in hosting such an event with a Plone site and doing the live coverage. He started by showing a great demo by the group Fairlight which was sort of a music video but done in just 10 MB of data.

He then talked about the setup and his experiences and tips when hosting the site for such an event
(from 2003-2005 he was the only person in the web team but now they are 6 people).

Features of the site

  • Standard Plone, for this year version 2.5
  • during the 4 days of the party they had 13 millionen hits
  • no Plone layout/design but very custom design done by creating his own main_template
  • special features
    • Site Guide (Titel/Description mit speziellem keyword)
    • dynamic and static news as well as a news portlet

Implementation of the infrastructure

  • 2 Cluster: in the colo and at the party location
  • Party location is connected via 2Gbit link (as one sponsor is the local cable provider)
  • computing center with 100 MBit uplink to backbone
  • Each cluster:
    • 2 ZEO clients
    • 1 Squid
    • 1 Load-balancer „balance“
    • 1 Apache
  • 1 ZEO server which is in the party network as this is faster


  • make each component as easy as possible
  • squid: cache everything for 5 minutes each and ignore all cache-headers
  • live-monitoring of the servers with „apachetop“
  • staging via svn and cron to deploy changed of the skin (extra stable-branch which will get synced

    every 5 mins to the zeo clients. They run in debug mode as the traffic is handled mostly by Squid.

    Thus you don’t need to restart servers

  • ZEO works quite good and GenericSetups is quite handy
  • moving a ZEO server from the party location back to the computing center is problematic because of downtime.
    (Philipp suggests looking into DirectoryStorage as this has such a feature)
  • live events such as assembly have different usage patterns (e.g. special events where there are high peaks.
    All do the same at once).


  • new system probably as zope3 system
  • central user database (but not LDAP)

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