The Server Nov 2003 Changeover Bug Thread

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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
The November Server Changeover

Ok, folks, here goes...

I have a server up but this is quite a bit different than what I have to this point gone through. As I recently wrote Steelman:
When I first logged in, I was amazed that MySQL and the latest php was pre-installed. My perception of a dedicated, unmanaged server was you basically got Apache installed, secure ftp and telnet access as root and from there on out it was up to me to install‚ via cpan on the BSD server php and mysql. Scripts and such were things I installed as well.

All I really was looking for was a plain vanilla server with Apache, and figured I would need php and mysql installed - which is why I was seeking someone to set the basic server up the way I wanted it, and with the basic mail program set up. No sub-accounts or other frills. Like with the virtual servers I have had, I wanted a way to ftp in to root so if I need to change permissions on a file it's not an extended command line trip. And I want to be able to see every file in every directory. Right now there are several FTP accounts which show me different things unless I go in and change directory permissions for the directory, and in many cases the contained files, through ssh telnet by changing to su.

The WHM and control panel are way more than I need. It's really intended for a reseller.

My perception has changed significantly, but I'm trying to figure out how to address it. As I explained, I have been on FreeBSD since 1997-8 and have always had a virtual server‚ of the Vario brand either directly or through a reseller. That said, it was always very simple. I had root ftp and telnet access, the basic mail system was set up so everything - all mail - went through to my one mailbox. I could control mail access through editing /etc/mail/access and the simple control panel‚ was iManager which did everything I needed - actually I only used 3 of the functions it has. I manually edited the Apache conf file and other conf files as needed - like the old‚ days of coding html pages by hand with no WYSIWYG. If I wanted custom error pages, I amended the apache conf file and made sure the files were in the place I defined them to be. If I wanted custom icons in directory listings, I added the icons and amended the apache conf file.

On my Mac, on my Windows PC and on my BSD server I have stuck to the base server structure - /usr/local/apache/. As such, there's only me so there has not been a need to set up an account in a sub-directory as you have done. For testing, I set everything up in the standard‚ fashion - I needed the IP number to test stuff - I haven't played much with the elsmarc directory. I transferred a copy of most of the files there but am not sure how to address the cgi-bin issue. I'm sure it's not hard but at this point I don't really understand know to set up cgi's there. I'm guessing you put them in the cgi directory in public_html. You know how it is - one does something one way for years and change arrives.

All this said, I am still playing a bit and trying to figure out many of the WHM and control panel options. It's overwhelming right now.

Like for mail - all I want is a pop account which everything goes to, and then to relay mail to my spamcop account. It may be I can avoid that, but I‚m paid up for another 6 plus months so I'm not in a hurry to change. I'm more interested in how to selectively reject mail from certain domains (not simply IPs or IP blocks) and specific users at the server level as I currently do on my BSD server.

Right now I'm still assessing the server and whether I want to go this way. I definitely won't switch to this server for another week. I want to understand everything that is going on as well as possible before I decide. As for Serverbeach, they have at least a month's rent either way.

Don't get me wrong, the control panels - all of them - are very nice and I can see their value to many people, but to me they're extensive overkill and confusing to a new person.

I'll get back with you in a few days or so when I have a better feeling as to which way I want to go with this.
This may give you some idea of what I'm experiencing right now.

So - I'm paying for a couple of servers right now and doing what I can to make the switch, when I trigger it, as 'seamless' as possible. I want to avoid the June double server switch fiasco.

But beyond that, I didn't really much look at log files for a couple of years. About 2 years ago about 1000 people stopped by each day and attachments were not a part of the forums software. Now, traffic has substantially increased as has my time to keep things going, and post attachments are significantly increasing the disk space required. See the attachments for an idea of the current daily traffic. This said, the forums database is significantly increasing almost exponentially and additionaly there is the attachments disk space issue (see attachment Database031020.jpg). Currently I have a 'virtual server' with only about 2.4 gigs of space:

Disk status:
Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Avail Capacity Mounted on
/dev/da0e 2688000 1765063 794937 69% /

That isn't much space. The 'new' server has about 40 gigs which should suffice for a couple of years - or so I hope.

I hope this gives you a brief understanding of the situation.

I'll keep you informed of the progress. Right now I look at another week, but it may be two.

I cannot explain how difficult this is for me to do all this not being a professional in the field which is why I am heavily relying on Steelman's recommendations. I'm not happy with a number of aspects with Verio. However, they have 24/7/365 phone support, automatic backups and many other features. On the other hand they are dramatically more expensive. There are also the 'pipe size' and multiple backbone connection issues I have to consider. The 'new' server is with a small company called Server Beach http://serverbeach.com - I do have some fears of small companies and they have been 'bare bones' in their communications which is what caused me to switch from GSP.com directly to Verio last June (the 'second' server switch).

I do believe the switch will be good - a positive. If I have any concern for user experience, it will be ServerBeach's backbone connection (response).

We shall see.
 

Attachments

Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
9 November 2003

After a long night and for the last 6 hours I've been testing the forums on the new server - the second one. I was on the phone with Nick (Steelman) for several hours last night working on bugs. Couldn't get things working but it appears we fixed most of the problems. I was so frustrated I was about to just say the heck with it.

I'm targeting next weekend for the changeover. When I start the changeover, the forums will be 'locked' (closed) on this server. As soon as the dns switch occurs, you will find the forums there open. It will be the same old domain - Elsmar.com

More soon. Still have testing and some config to do today.
 
#3
Right ho Marc,

Good luck with the switch, and don't get too frustrated if any snags turn up. After all, you've managed to come out on top of things every time before. Thank you for the effort you put in to keep the Cove going.

/Claes :agree:
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
I'm still working on two cgi scripts which I can't get to run. There are a lot of 'similarities' to the curent server, but the 'new' server is really a reseller server and I opted for a 'control panel' on Nick's advice. I'm sorta 'reselling' an account to myself. Since I'm the only ne on the server, thought, the site will get all the computer's resources as opposed to the 'virtual' server I'm now on wher up to several hundred accounts can be on the same server - each calling for the cpu and other resources. Paths are different and many of my paradigms are broken. I set up the first server and everything worked within a 2 days, but I didn't use the 'control panel' - I just set it up as I have one my Verio servers.

If you're interested, the 'control panel' system is the cPanel / WebHost Manager system --> http://cpanel.net/ I'm not convinced I'll use 5% of the functions and it's an extra US$30 a month.

Friday night / Saturday morning I hosed the database here when the 'import attachments back into database' function failed so I had to dump the database completely, pull the backup I did back into the empty database, and then everything worked again. Had me pretty worried at first.

If things stay on track, the forums will close Friday evening, the dns server records will be switched to the new domain name server, and the forums should reopen on the new server Saturday morning. It may be Monday before the domain propagates throughout all the dns servers. I'm not sure yet whether I'll give the temporary address. I doubt it because of the problems that caused last June.

Anyway, both Nick and I are heavily in learning mode with the 'project'.
 
B

Bob_M

#5
Wow just trying to read that and I'm getting a headache! And I enjoy computers and learning how things work! But this server stuff is currently way over my head! I have enough trouble attempting to keep our companies little WinSB2k server running, and we don't even have a web page or anything yet! Good job and good luck Marc!
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#6
I'm not happy with this, but the bottom line is the forums may be down for a couple of days. There have been a lot of problems getting things going and since I only have 1 IP address I could only test in an 'account'. A lot of assumptions are being made which I don't have a lot of faith in.

At this time I have little choice but to take the chance. The Verio server is at 82% of disk space and there are other issues.

If all goes well the forums will reopen Saturday or Sunday - but expect Monday. I'm not comfortable doing this in this way, but we'll see what happens.
 
#7
Marc said:
If all goes well the forums will reopen Saturday or Sunday - but expect Monday. I'm not comfortable doing this in this way, but we'll see what happens.
Weeeeeelllll.... I suppose there will be problems, and that they will be overcome.... Now, why am I seeing a mental image of going to sleep before brain surgery here? :vfunny:

Good luck Marc, I'm sure we'll wake up again...

/Claes
 

RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#8
I fully expect to hear reports on the news that shouts of "It's alive!" will be heard in parts of Ohio this weekend!

Best of luck, Marc...don't sweat it too much...some of us will find stuff to keep ourselves occupied whilst things are down. Hey, maybe we could trying working..or going outside for some fresh air...or talking to people...cool... :)
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#9
Back online at 10.00 PM EST (US). Let me know if you find any problems. So far, everything checks out. Yup - It's alive. Some good 'luck'. I was surprised.
 

Atul Khandekar

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
Nice to have forums on-line earlier than expected!
I see a 'Chat' feature added now. Can we use our cove login or do we have to register separately for chat?
 
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