Hosting Your Own Virtual Server Is Masochism

30 May 2015

Hosting Your Own Virtual Server Is Masochism

30 May 2015:

I am done with this story: You setup a virtual server just to play with it. You install services and then start to rely on them. You start to do backups and stuff since you realize that you are more and more relying on that thing. And then one day, when you least expect it. You type in “reboot”, since the console told you so for some logins. Since you reboot not very often a delay is expected and you do not worry that it takes some time to come back up. The file system checks will do their thing and everything will be fine. But then after hours waiting you send another desperate ping in hope that there will be your server at the other end finally responding. Nothing else than dropped packets… you have to realize: It is not booting anymore. There is a rescue system you can boot but since it seems nothing gets mounted there are also no logs to look into. So its time to reinstall everything and restore things from the backup. You have to manually select things from the backup since otherwise you would just end up with an unbootable system again. I could install an old backup … but that might be more than half a year old … since the last reboot.

The first time I setup a server I had a mail, dns, http and git server on that “playground” host. Having your own mail server is nice since you can do whatever you like with filtering and so on. Then you realize it is quite stressful when that server goes down (and dns). So the second time my mail setup and dns were on an external hosting service. The virtual server provider did switch from xen to kvm which allows you to update your kernels which is nice. And so I thought there should not be another non-bootable situation because the kernel does not get old. Unfortunately I was proved wrong. The fallout was not that big this time since there is only a http and git server on that machine which host my private site and repositories. The world can live without that for some time. But I am a nerd and I hate repetitive tasks like setting up a server with the same setup twice. Especially when this setup will probably take around a day of work time…

Now I moved my website to Github with Jekyll. I already played with a Jekyll setup for it anyway so why not switch now. I though I would host it myself. Scrap that just use github and let others take care of the low level stuff. I will rebuild my page here and stop worrying about server maintenance. It will take some time since I want to rebuild it from scratch so I do not have old outdated stuff lying around. My plan is to move single items over bit by bit in a blog style, whenever I find the time.

So my website style will change a bit. More to a blog style interface but also ordered by categories to find things. Blog posts will also not be completely static in case I find extra information to add. We will see how active I will be and if that concept works out. Have fun…