New server!

Did you know otakubell.com gets 8-10 millions hits per month? Well, it does.  And given that its almost all PHP-based, including an installation of Mediawiki, shared webhosting was really not cutting it anymore.  My long-time host Beachcomber Creations trumped up some bullshit to throw me off at the end of last year, so I tried to set up VPS hosting at that time, resulting in otakubell being offline until late January.  I thought I had things all set up nicely.  And then, the weekend I was going to put the new server live online, the hosting company I went with vanished from the interwebs and wouldn’t respond to email or trouble tickets.  So much for THAT.  I quickly set up some shared hosting.

The shared hosting kept otakubell online, but boy was it ever slow.  The wiki, in particular, was not running well, and it seemed to be getting worse.  So, I decided to take another stab at VPS hosting, and, after a rather hairy week, here we are.

One of the trickiest things about setting up VPS:  There’s no way to know if things work UNTIL you turn it on, live.  With shared hosting, its simple – all the decent ones run a standard cpanel-based setup.  You back up the old data with cpanel, you upload that to the new server, and then you point your domain name to the new location and you are back in business, seamlessly, because all of the servers you are pointing to have been fully tested by others.  Here, I’m setting up almost everything from scratch – a raw operating system (Debian Squeeze if you’re curious) with an SSH shell, and that’s IT.  I can’t send email to myself to test the email server UNTIL I point my domain at the email servers I set up, and if they’re broken, guess who has to fiddle with them until they work?  And no email until its figured out.  Fortunately, I stumbled onto iredmail, which made setting up the email a lot easier.

Then there’s security issues – various bots were trying to hack my gibson almost immediately upon installing the OS.  My SSH is quite secure, thank you, and I have fail2ban set up and looking at all sorts of processes, so ha!

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