Rick Ennis

Director of Technology

Rick Ennis is the Director of Technology for NPR Digital Services. Rick leads multiple teams across software development, infrastructure and quality assurance to support DS' continuously evolving technology strategy.

Prior to Digital Services, Rick managed IT for Bluefire Security. Bluefire pioneered firewalls for handheld devices in the early 2000's. Rick was responsible for IT infrastructure and network security. He also designed the communications conduit for handheld devices to securely exchange information with BF's enterprise product.

Before Bluefire, Rick was the Senior Administrator overseeing all networks and systems for Thomson Financial Interactive, a subsidiary of Thomson Financial.

Rick and his wife Julie live just outside of Boston with their one year old son and full zoo of pets.

Ways to Connect

A key element of bringing the Digital Services team down to headquarters in DC is physical migration of our technical operations for our DC-based team to manage ongoing maintenance and improvements.

As we plan to move our data center, including servers that support Core Publisher, a DNS update is required for ongoing functionality. For those stations whose DNS is handled by NPR Digital Services, we will complete the update for you. For those stations that manage their own DNS, say through a domain registrar like GoDaddy, a settings update is necessary.

Users count on Core Publisher to provide a simple way to deliver digital content to station audiences and the public media system. With so much content flowing through the CMS, fully functional data processing and storage is a prerequisite to meeting user expectations. As a Drupal installation, the heart of Core Publisher is its relational database.  More than anything else, the database is responsible for performance, data replication (to a disaster recovery site), and transactional consistency.

If you've run Drupal for any length of time you know that spiders and bots can make the difference between a well performing site and one that requires a coffee refill while the page loads.  Some bots are particularly nasty.  Even with a meticulously crafted robots.txt file, they'll slam you from an entire farm of machines, sometimes as many as five to ten a second.  And that's just from one search engine.

The Digital Services Paging System is now available as open source on GitHub.  You can use it to coordinate off-hours staff communications, emergency support, or countless other text-based messaging needs.  To understand how it evolved, let's step a bit back in time.