I’ve been wanting us to have a staging server for our Discourse and Graphryder setup for some time, but the issue is unfortunately that we don’t have the budget or manpower to set up or maintain a staging server.
There are things that I or @owen or @gdpelican could do to offload @daniel and @matthias, but it’s hard unless there is a staging server where making mistakes doesn’t lead to production downtime. I think it’s important to have that sort of onboarding experience for new IT-related staff as we scale.
If we had a staging server, we could then install new versions of the Graphryder plugin ourselves and run tests with the same point of reference. For example, if the staging server was loaded with dummy test data (threads, codes, and annotations) for SSNA development, we could try out new plugins and features with ethnographers and researchers without having to apply them to real data.
It’s important for future budgeting that we know what the ballpark cost would be.
- Set up an additional server with our fork of Discourse
- Document the set-up instructions so that they can be understood and replicated
- Document some important routine maintenance, like backups, upgrades, and installing and upgrading new plugins
- Monthly cost
- Added overhead in terms of EUR for time spent on upgrading the staging server along with production (this can also be done by someone else than @matthias or @daniel as long as we have instructions)
I will then work towards the one-off cost being included in a project budget, and for the maintenance to be covered by overhead.