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Tap Tap Tap - This Thing On?

     
8:15 pm on Dec 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hello world.

Major thanks to the Liquid Web Support team. You guys rocked.


So, we are running off a shinny new server. Seems to be working great. If you are so inclined ... click the aff button ad for Liquid Web in the upper right.

Specs...
Processor: Intel Dual Xeon E5520 Quad Core Gainstown
RAM: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM
HD1: 2 x SAS RAID 1   (15,000 rpm) (+600GB SAS 15,000 RPM)
HD2: SATA Backup Drive(+750 GB SATA (7,200 rpm))
OS: Linux OS (+CentOS 5 32-bit)
Bandwidth: 10000GB Monthly Transfer (5000 in + 5000out)
+Gigabit Uplink port)

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 2:05 am (utc) on Dec 5, 2010]

9:20 pm on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You are right bill - I was thinking just 7200 line of cards. I wouldn't buy it new. There are a bunch of cards on ebay that are 7200 series compat.

> see the logic

I don't want 1 top-of-line box - I want 30 mid to low range boxes. I want to do some fun stuff. I want to buy a bunch of cheapo servers to run as cgi machines for utils and services (spiders...etc)

>big time suck, time that is better spent doing actual money making activities...

I admit I am an inhouse guy. Leasing, renting, and anything marked as a "service" is an evil black hole. I resist all "services" possible.

Like right now - we have an error on the server that is botching ssi's as 'index' files. I haven't tracked it down. However, if it was at the office, I would have loaded up the conf file and known exactly where to look to fix it. So now, I have to go through the support service at the hosting co to try to figure out what layer of abstraction is causing the problem. Is it cpanel and it's template files, is it one of the layered domains, is it whm, is it htaccess issue, or is it whatever...

I'd also like to take a shot at running a windows server, but unless I have control of the hardware reset switch, I wouldn't trust to leave it out there in no mans land. From what I have seen, windows is good at running simple stuff, but if you try to get fancy on a windows server, you can be toast in a repetitive hurry.
9:26 pm on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Now, for something completely different, but sorta on topic...This is said to be the current server home of the Wikileaks.

Bahnhof AB, a firm that offers hosting on its servers, is housed in a former bomb bunker drilled into the White Mountains of Sweden.
[talkingpointsmemo.com...]
9:35 pm on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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^ oh man give me bed/bath/kitchen and i'd live there!
11:41 pm on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Holy Cow, LiquidWeb's pricing is really high. $150 for unmanaged 1U colo with only 1000MB (500 in / 500 out) transfer and 2 IP's addresses?
12:30 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Like right now - we have an error on the server that is botching ssi's as 'index' files. I haven't tracked it down. However, if it was at the office, I would have loaded up the conf file and known exactly where to look to fix it. So now, I have to go through the babysitter service at the hosting co to try to figure out what layer of abstraction is causing the problem. Is it cpanel and it's template files, is it one of the layered domains, is it whm, is it htaccess issue, or is it whatever.


I'm confused - I have 100% control over my server, I can tear Plesk down to the ground.

Pretty much anything I want to do I can do remotely, include reboot it if it crashes.

I don't need babysitters unless the box becomes unresponsive which has only happened once in the last 5 years.

You must have one of those "managed" things ;)
12:55 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>Pretty much anything I want to do I can do remotely, include reboot it if it crashes.

lol. You just aren't trying hard enough. Let me at it ;-) We had about 15 trouble tickets with rs over 5 years on the old server. Of those - 9 were for "please press the reset button" because the server was locked up.

>frontpage

That is very reasonable from what I have seen on colo. Most places won't even answer the phone or open the front door for $150 a month.
1:19 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Bill and I disagree on many things, but we're in lockstep on this one.

With a KVM over IP, there's nothing other than hardware swap that I need to be local for. And hardware swap can be planned for. I can both powercycle over the internet and view the bootup sequence in my browser.


Holy Cow, LiquidWeb's pricing is really high. $150 for unmanaged 1U colo with only 1000MB (500 in / 500 out) transfer and 2 IP's addresses?

Is that high? I pay less than that, but not much less for a 1u unit. but my bandwith is second to none, the facility is world class and the operator is always available. I don't blink at paying a couple hundred bucks a month for something as vital to my business as a webserver.

Particularly after I contrast that with the 10's of thousands I spent on building my own little data center that had poorer quality bandwidth, wasn't redundant, and cost me a lot of time and money to maintain. Really, the cost of a 1u unit like that is almost ridiculous when you look at it.
1:21 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Oh, and Brett, waaaay faster.
1:37 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm with Brett_Tabke on the wanting to host at home, and my logic is thus...

It's a learning thing. I learned how to operate websites professionally by doing it. If I'd have taken the attitude that I could just pay some anonymous schmuck on the other side of the world to design and operate the site, I wouldn't have learned a single thing...

Regarding hosting my own hardware at home... Our family home is in the mountains of the far north of Thailand, in a remote location. Mainline power is very erratic and if a snake farts in the yard, the power fails. We're actually in the planning stages of building our new home there in the next few years and I'll be designing a diesel-electric backup generator into the build. It'll be big enough to power the three sibling's properties too, should the mains supply go down (and it does, almost daily)... so we'll be good for days of power, or as long as there's enough fuel...

Obviously the leased line is an issue and I've looked into it. It will be possible, even though we're way out. A very brief examination tells me it 'could' be cost effective, if my main site develops/grows enough...

I already have a basic 1U Poweredge server running in the hallway, and it's just the recipient of a daily backup from my hosted Singapore server at this time, plus a couple of development sites... but I think the experience of having my sites run from a rack at home would be very valuable to me...

If it all goes tits up, I just wget everything over to a server in a datacentre and change the DNS. Simple.
1:43 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Of those - 9 were for "please press the reset button" because the server was locked up.


See, that's not unresponsive.

At SB my remote control panel let's me press the reset button, I can do a full power cycle.

When I say unresponsive, I mean it fails to restart after the power cycle, only then is an admin required.

I would *NEVER* host again where I couldn't remotely power cycle the box, I dislike waiting on babysitters.
2:40 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>16GB
hmmm - I was under the impression it could recognize up to 64gig of ram?

Yes, older versions of Centos were able to address 64GB with the hugemem kernel, but Centos 5 is shipped with the SMP kernel which only addresses 16GB.

[centos.org...]
4:35 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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mod deflate enabled. A bit more system load, but the bandwidth savings is significant.
5:18 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Did you get the issues with mod_security worked out?
6:33 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>> Our best effort at bringing it in house worked out to about $25,000 a year for reliable internet.

Unless prices are over inflated in the US, you're probably overthinking it.

We serve over 1M visitors a month over several sites from our office.

My connectivity is

2 x 10Mbps VDSL connections with 8IP each ( US$ 800 / month )
1 x 100 Mbps 1 IP ( US$ 100 each per month )

We spend an additional $150-200 on Amazon for S3 storage, static css / images / banners are all delivered via Cloudfront.

Equipment in the office

4 x Dual Quad Xeons (Dell 1950s) with varying disks..
1 x 2850 Dual Quad Xeon with quad NIC for the front end web server.
1 x Dual Xeon with 10TB raid for backups which are then further backed up to S3 storage

Power - dealt with by having UPS which gracefully powerdown the servers when hell breaks loose.

Have had about 30 mins downtime in a year ...

Brett - I do think it is totally worth having the setup in your office, as long as you have a tested backup plan. The control and freedom to expand, tinker and customize is worth it. We've moved from a LAMP stack to a F(reeBSD)N(ginx)Mysql(5.5)P(hp-fpm) stack and LOVE IT .. not many hosts if any would support this in a managed configuration.
2:20 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>Unless prices are over inflated in the US

They are. Just a reliable T1 is $700 a month. I think we would need an OC3 to keep things interesting. We currently have a 10meg down and 2meg up line and it would never work for any heavy hosting. Something like a 20meg down and 20meg up is $1550 a month.

> issue with mod_security

yes we did. thanks
2:30 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Congrats on the successful migration... always a daunting task with shedloads of data to move.
3:41 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Congratulations Brett, glad to see that Liquid Web worked out for you.
3:52 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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And thank you Mike for the efforts. [c7dc.com...] was certainly an excellent option for us as well.

Also thanks to Aaron at Cpanel for the extra-effort.
3:58 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@lexipixel

I know when I was more in the sysadmin role I had a PR!ME super mini that lived in the basement and shared it with the print department who flooded the place more than once.

When you are standing in 2 inches of water with the 415V cables running through it and seeing the water about a 1/4 of an inch from the fans on the bottom of the cabs - You decide that walking very slowly (so as not to case any waves and shortout out the computer an my operator and myself) away was the best course of action.
4:54 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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500's on replies in the PHP forum today.
6:52 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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No noticed speed improvement here but then again it's always been instant for me.
7:02 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld loads noticeably faster than before (I am in Europe).
7:09 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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oh ya. avg page generation time is under 1/2second now. Large threads before were taking 3-8. Under load it could see 10seconds before a single byte went out the door.

doh - answer my own question 10yrs later:
[webmasterworld.com...]
8:48 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Woo hoo! +1 LiquidWeb :) Great to see two of my favorite webmaster-related companies join forces.

Disclaimer: I'm a developer at LiquidWeb ;)
10:05 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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...they're basically charging you a monthly rate for the upgrade that's nearly the same as what it would cost you to buy the part in the first place!


Checking the lowest tier dedicated server, the upgrade from 2GB of ram to 4GB costs an extra $50/month. However, once configured, the total cost looks like a good deal of performance for the price.
10:25 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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LiquidWeb is also now hosting WebHostingTalk - home of HostingCon and guys who run ABestWeb. All have left rackspace.
10:52 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have been considering switching from Rackspace to Liquidweb for a while now.

This thread has convinced me to move forward.
3:23 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well, just deleted the old server. (sniff) She served us well.
8:55 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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what were the specs of the old server, and how long did you use it?


did you do some formatting or other cleanup before the end?
This 59 message thread spans 2 pages: 59