Server Issues (2005)

Some of you may have noticed that david.weekly.org was down last week for several days. Email to me bounced and there was general havoc in my online life. What happened? Did I get slashdotted? No.

I happened to notice that my email wasn’t working Tuesday afternoon. (I had been away on Monday.) I tried going to my website; nothing. I tried pinging my computer — clearly down. I biked over to where I keep my server, and that’s when I noticed that something was really wrong.

The power supply in my server had died hard at about 5:30pm on Monday night after over three years of faithful service. In plainspeak, it was out cold; not even the slightest response to pushing the power button. (This has nothing to do with the power problems on my Compaq client.)

I tore out the harddrives (lacerating myself several times and breaking a spare cable) and biked back to my dorm fast as could be. I got a spare server out from under my bed (doesn’t everyone have one of those?) and set to work transferring the soul of d.w.o to the new box.

As it turned out, I wasn’t entirely successful in transferring the operating system; just the website itself. This wasn’t too bad, because it forced me to upgrade my server components to the latest versions of things. It took me three days to get the whole shebang up and going, and even now my email is still a little weird (messages don’t get properly time/date stamped!), but the whole joint is (roughly) working.

RPM Find was an absolute godsend at finding the different files that I needed. There seem to be a good number of tools for helping someone update their server, although I’m a little surprised that they haven’t taken the next step in automation. (“Update Server?” *click*)

I spent too much time administrating, though, and am now looking to completely outsource all of my hosting. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find a provider that can offer all of the flexibility that I have in running my own server at the same time as being cheap. I’ll let you know when I jump on anything definite. =)

In the meantime, it’s back to writing a cryptographically secure Instant Messenger, writing a book, learning TAPI, and structuring web data!

Author: dweekly

I like to start things. :)