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Time to housekeep

It's time to put a new face on the blog and the site. And, to try and get it out there that I'm looking to bring in more hosted customers that like Railo hosting with a small business ;). I'll be switching everything over to a 960gs template just as soon as I get a few projects cleared off my plate.

I also offer custom FarCry solutions, with Social Networking components, e-commerce, blogging, etc. PHP and static sites are welcome as well! I currently host in eastern US, and UK. Signing up through the month of September means no setup fees! You just need to use newfreesetup at checkout time.

I suppose it helps to mention that information can be found at my hosting portal

I want to love you linux, but why must you make it so damn hard!

After reading a blog entry about another CF guy moving over to Linode, I got to asking myself "what the heck is a linode"? Well, it's a XEN based VPS that's really, really freakin' cheap! I signed up for their 1080 plan (which is way more traffic then I'll likely see), and decided it was time to move from shared hosting to my own VPS. The reasons abound, one of which being I'm going to be fielding all of the hosting/billing for future projects for Meteorsite, LLC. I'd also planned on moving to Railo/Resin to do this hosting, and it seemed like a great fit. Oh, and I was also planning on using GroundWorks with Nagios to monitor all our various and sundry hosting solutions (to also get that crap off my own home network ;) ).

Things went great at first. I got GroundWorks installed, but then I realized that GroundWorks wants to gloom onto and possess MySQL and Apache. Well, that's a pain in the ass and had to go. I only really wanted Nagios anyway. I'll generate the nagios configs on my local machine and just migrate them over. Fine, and done. Next step, configure a mail server with some sort of web front end. My old host used Plesk and that seemed to also include Horde. Great! I can deal with Horde. I usually pull everything into google mail for online viewing anyway, but I like having that option. So... I found 1, 2, a ton of tutorials on installing Horde on Ubuntu. The only problem is, not a damn one worked. Postfix would install correctly, but in the end I could never get IMAP (dovecot or courrier) to talk nice-nice to Postfix.

Three tutorials, and several hours later, I decided to start looking for a one touch install type system. Since I'll be hosting sites later it made sense to find a Plesk/CPanel/Helm type open source solution. And behold, I started my quest towards making ISPconfig work. There is at least 10 hours of my life I'm never getting back. Good lord... after about 50 steps, I just could not get ISPconfig to authenticate against IMP. And as soon as I changed the authentication method, I couldn't get back into the system. No matter what I tried, I could not get it to work. In between all of this, it's likely that I blew away my VPS about 20 times.

And then, I found Citadel and Easy Host Control Panel. I tried Citadel first, and currently have EHCP running on a test machine. Citadel (and EHCP) just worked. One installer, and that's it. Yes, you have to answer questions, but they're of the variety of "what's your system DNS" and "what's your mysql root passwor". Each have domain management for mail. Citadel really does far more than I require, and I think for hosting other sites, EHCP makes more sense, but at least I have something up and running! Yay. I do, however, still want my weekend back.

Google brought down my house of cards

For almost three years now we've been running ColdFusion (well, really JRun) session based replication and failover on all of our hosted ColdFusion environs. Things were great! And then, we let google in the door to index our content. Things went from "great", to "why is this always down??". I spent far too much time looking at JVM settings, JRun settings, etc., but never really came up with a concrete answer as to what was happening. Ultimately, we'd see a deluge of errors about the failure of session replication in the log files and a complete breaking of failover and sometimes even the JRun -> IIS connector.

Whilst searching for the session replication errors, I came across Sean Corfields postings across various blogs that replication just does not scale well, and that it remains a broken feature. Up until a few months ago, I'd argue this to be untrue. However, it appears that replication works... if you can manage to keep the amount of crap you throw into shared memory scopes down to a minimum.

It's been 4 days since I've disabled session replication, and my servers have remained standing for an equal amount of time. We've been getting indexed by google (and others), and things are sailing along with nary a blip. Next stop, creating a guide for users that want/need session based failover that can be accomplished in code. Otherwise known as, "Help me Sean Corfield, you're my only hope!" ;).

I'm back! Server outage yesterday

Well, my host hopes to have finally resolved the problems that have been plaguing the shared sever that my site resides on. It took a rebuild of the entire server to do it.... in the middle of the week (not so happy about that), but things should be smooth sailing from this point forward. I doubt it though. Technology will rear it's ugly head again, no doubt ;).


Meh, jokes on me. Site went down today as soon as my blog entry got picked up by fullasagoog. Figures ;).

Moving to new server

Sometime tomorrow, I believe in the morning, my sites are moving to a different server. Should all go well, there should be no downtime, but you know, the best laid plans of mice and men.

on Continual site issues...

It looks like I've been given the green flag to move from one shared server to different shared server. Hopefully this clears up issues I've been seeing with the availability of this site. I rather wish I had the cash to go dedicated, but that cannot happen at this time. Eventually it'll happen again, but for now, sorry for the inconvenience!

on Technical Difficulties

Well, my comment section is broken at the moment. I have the captcha settings disabled, however it's still trying to generate the image. In addition, there is some issue with casing, or something similar keeping it from working on my linux host.

Update: It's a file permission issue. Even though I modified the captcha settings through the admin UI, it turns out the underlying file was never modified. Comments should now work, and so should post forwarding.

on Technical Difficulties

Please excuse the multitude of outages today. It appears that the issues have been cleaned up for now.