We have been asked lately what the runtime requirements of Retrospective are and whether it is safe to use it in Production environment.
Here's a short elaboration on that:
Retrospective uses a SFTP client to browse the file system. Then it uses a SSH client to execute the remote commands.
The commands the we invoke are as follows: head, tail, grep, zgrep, cat, zcat, bzcat, tar, unzip, awk.
No additional tools need to be installed on the servers in order to use Retrospective - the aforementioned commands are the standard tools that are normally preinstalled on an average Linux distribution.
When it comes to the access rights:
We only need the read access to the files and folders that are to be access by Retrospective (like any other SSH client).
We never write to or modify the filesystem that we are accessing on searching / tailing.
When it comes to the load:
One instance of retrospective invokes up to 10 simultaneous commands on a server (practically it's never more than 6 or 7, depending on what you are doing).
It may also open up to 10 simultaneous connections. The mechanisms uses an saturation / adaptation algorithm - if you are invoking one search over one file - most likely it will open 1 connection. If you are searching over 1000 files on a single host - it's highly probable that it will open up to 10 connections (but if the searches are really short - it may open only 2-3 connections).
When it comes to the local machine where Retrospective is installed:
On the local machine (where retrospective is installed) there are no commands that are invoked - we use what is available in a standard Java distribution.
To run Retrospective you need a Java Virtual Machine (JRE) version 6. We have not tested extensively with version 7 (but some tests were conducted and it worked as well).
Java does not have to be installed on the remotely accessed servers to use Retrospective (it's obvious, but just to make it clear )
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