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Saturday 28 April 2007

Moving away thnet resources from self-made, self-hosted solutions

After more than five years hosting my own services exclusively based on Open Source products and executing on rock solid UNIX-like based environments--known as the Thilelli.NET Project, I decided (for personal convenience only) to move to external hosting providers. The new resources is now based on a mixed of Gandi and Joyent solutions.

Gandi and Joyent are well known for doing a very great job, in a pleasant manner. I urge you to learn about their work, and why Joyent is the biggest player in the OpenSolaris community (using SXCE in production), hiring nice and skilled guys in their team: Ben Rockwood, Mark Mayo, and Derek Crudgington, just to name a few.

It means that I will have more internal resources to try and build new technologies, avoiding strong constraints such as maintaining public view and external services without the resources and financial support such mentioned providers can have. It will increase email and web serviceability as well.

So, I hope you will have great time reading my blog, and don't forget to update your bookmarks and entries feed to:

Wednesday 21 February 2007

New thnet Services Certificates

As for each past years, a new Certificate Authority was created for thnet-specific purposes only. Two new certificates were requested, and now replace the old certs, for the web (HTTPS) and mail (IMAPS) secure services.

You can replace the old Certificate Authority with the new one, using the following URL cacert.crt.

Tuesday 9 January 2007

Thilelli.NET Project Website Design Update

In order to follow security fixes along with the evolving FreeBSD Drupal's Port, the Thilelli.NET website has just been updated to the Drupal 4.7.5 release.

The update process was not as smooth as expected, but all seems ok by now. In the same time, reset the thnet theme to the more classical pushbutton.

Tuesday 5 September 2006

[headsup] RAID-1 Now Fully Functional

After three months without a second hard disk, a new fresh one came from the manufacturer. Just scheduled a little intervention-time window; the main server is back online in less than fifteen minutes.

I just hope that this one will have a little more longer life than the past disk.

As a side note, i just have to remove the old gmirror configuration, and insert the second disk in it, again:

# gmirror forget gm0
# gmirror insert gm0 ad10
# gmirror status
      Name    Status  Components
mirror/gm0  DEGRADED  ad8
                      ad10 (16%)

Wednesday 12 April 2006

Stability Problem and New RAID-1 System

Just after the big update and new infrastructure installation during the past month, the server encountered stability problem on a regular basis (sometimes crashing more than one time a day). At first though, we noted it may be caused by the new processor architecture, a less mature FreeBSD distribution than the well known i386.

But the problem appears to be specifically related to I/O, especially when the input/output are very intensive, i.e. file system dump(8), file system snapshot mksnap_ffs(8) or big tar(1) or cpio(1L) archive transfers.

After days, we didn't succeed to clearly isolate the source of the problem, but decided to quickly put the system under RAID-1 system management (disks mirroring) and configure the excellent gmirror(8) to do the job. So, i switched from an old hardware RAID mechanism, to a pure LVM one. Hope we will be able to find something new without disturbing the ThNET services anymore.

More on the involved manipulations to put the system under the gmirror(8)control on a later post. Stay tuned.

Saturday 25 March 2006

New Infrastructure Server for the Hosting Project

As some of you may have seen in the past few weeks, web services provided by the Thilelli.NET Project encountered some downtime.

In fact, the main reason behind this is that the second fan for the power supply died suddenly, resulting to a very, very hot temperature inside the server. After four days as is, we ended to reboot the server after a Security Advisory from the FreeBSD Security Officer... but the server never restarted. Sad news.

So, to make a relatively long story short, the project came back after more than a week of continuous downtime: really sorry about that. It is an all new hardware and upgraded software, as sum' up here:

Hardware side:

  • Processor: AMD Athlon64X2 3800+, dual core 2GHz (socket 939) 64-bit
  • Motherboard: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
  • Memory: 2xCorsair PC4200 512MB Value DDR2 (1GB RAM)
  • Server Case: Antec Titan550 + 2xTriCool 92mm fans (front side panel)
  • Storage: 2xMaxtor 300GB 7200 RPM SATA300 (Maxline III), 16MB cache
  • Storage: 1xLaCie Hard Drive USB2 250GB design by Porsche
  • Storage: 1xLaCie Mobile Drive 2.5" 40GB USB2.0

Software side:

  • Update from FreeBSD-5 to FreeBSD-6 Unix-like operating system
  • Switch from the i386 to the amd64 platform
  • All the software were upgraded and recompiled on the new platform architecture using the latest ports sources and available products

All of the services are now recovered, up and functional.

Note: Some old statistics were not put back (as for MRTG graphs), although others were restored and updated (as for awstats, minus the more than a week problem).

Last, sorry for this very hard but unexpected problem. All is OK by now.

Monday 15 August 2005

Upgrade the 3366-ENT ADSL Gateway

Decided to upgrade the Cayman 3366-ENT ADSL Gateway from Netopia, currently hosting the public link for the Thilelli.NET Project. All went smooth and well. The gateway is now at the latest firmware level available (8.5.0 at the time of this writing).

At the same time, try to avoid some recurrent problem on the link (seems ok but doesn't let real traffic to pass through it) helped by the 24-Hour Scheduled Connection procedure. Waiting to see if it really works for our site... thanks to our ISP for providing a nice administration and status page.

Thursday 28 July 2005

[headsup] Thilelli.NET Website Updated and Fully Switched to Drupal

After weeks of testings, finally switched the website of the Thilelli.NET project to the Drupal content management system yesterday since it gave very good satisfaction during that time. SPIP was notably good, but the overall filling of Drupal smelt better to me, especially a little more polished.