Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    Setting up a server only takes a while

    You know I've always lived in this fantasy land where setting up a server only took five minutes at most. It was a simple as browsing to a certain directory on your computer, clicking a few times and voila it was all there. A brand new website ready for the people.

    But you know what? It's apparently not quite that easy with real servers as I've somehow managed to find out a few times already. First we had the incident of a german VPS where nothing quite worked, ever. At first it was, admitedly, my own fault as I did many a thing quite wrong. But then later on it started being purely the server's fault, the OS was old, nothing worked as it should and I was forced to coerce the boss into getting a new server. His words were: "Find one and go ahead".

    So I did. I did find two actually. This time I decided to throw frugality to the wind and find a local provider in Slovenia that would offer VPS hosting (because no sane shared hosting provider would ever suffice our needs) ... turns out that's harder than it seems. I've heard rumours of Domenca offering VPS, but apparently they haven't quite got there yet so in the end there were only two: sloHosting and Hostko. Wicked.

    Asked some questions and finally went with sloHosting because they provided Hardy Heron, which is what I use on the development server so I could be certain everything would work. Yesterday I was notified that hey, the server is up and ready, hope you love us. I did think I loved them until I found out the bitter truth - nothing, absolutely nothing, worked. After some nagging I found out today that they had forgotten to update the kernel (seriously guys, you're actual sysadmins and it takes a developer to notify you of something like this?).

    Right, everything did work this time. And so it began, the setting up of users, installing all the fancy weirdo things we need and so on. Since I'm no sysadmin, or at best a hobbyist one, I was browsing google for almost anything I wanted to do, but I had learned some lessons from the german server and managed to do everything pretty cleanly, no major issues at all. In the end five bloody hours later everything ended up working and the web app is lovably installed and working well.

    Now we're left to hoping it'll be able to handle the load of alpha testing, because hell, everything worked, even with the dirty hacks, on the german host until semi-serious load came into play.

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    Published on July 15th, 2008 in food for thought,

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