Aegir Barracuda VPS set up, and running nicely


The server is all sorted and running my client's sites - and running them fast! It's been an interesting experience for me and I've certainly scratched an itch I've had for a while. You see I've run and tinkered with Linux on my desktop for 5 years, and since I'm a web developer much of the software and infrastructure needed on my desktop is what's run on servers (MySQL, Apache, Postfix, PHP, APC etc.)

So, after I set up my server with the Barracuda Aegir hosting system, I was left with an empty web server and a lot of questions... Then lots of things happened:

  • My server, like all on the internet, started to get 'drive-by' attacks on it. Other machines or bored Chinese, Russian and Brazilian 'hackers' would scan the server for open ports, then try logging in with a bunch of usernames like 'sales', 'admin', 'roger' etc. This was no problem as the CSF firewall together with LFD just automatically banned them and everything carried on regardless. Nice!
  • I learned (and am still learning) the ins and outs of the Nginx web server with Aegir Drupal hosting/provisioning system. Both are excellent, both have a metric butt-load of nuances to learn. For example, Barracuda/Aegir sets up super fast caching for Drupal websites and their components, but that all wanted to use more memory than than my Linode 7681024 (now upgraded to 1536 and heading to 2Gb soon) could comfortably manage. No worry, that's all disabled now and my sites still move like a greased cougar with a red hot poker in its ass compared to the shared hosting I've used elsewhere.
  • I transferred some of my client's sites. The first was Sustainable Dorset, followed by my friend Dan Musselwhite's jewellery website, my other friend's AM Bull plumbing website. There's a load more of them to move over, but I've got many more months before my old hosting expires so I can take my time

So now I'm happy with the server and looking forward to boosting performance further with a few tweaks and custom caching using Redis, plus a bit more work on the email system and automated backups. Then I can get on with updating this site with a shiny new theme and project overviews with testimonials. Perhaps I'll get chance around Christmas... And back in the real/non-geek world I'm researching setting up my own aquaponics system for when I move house next year. Can't wait!

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