Simmons Consulting, the Website of Toby Simmons

Busy week : New web and spam servers


I moved my web site (along with several others) from an old Pentium II server to a new, faster server this week. The old server was just barely able to keep up (especially since it was an R&D test machine) but the new one is a lot more burly. I don’t think it will have any trouble keeping up. I also moved our SpamAssassin application to new server hardware, since the old one was having trouble keeping up. Hopefully, this one will not have the nearly weekly “cannot allocate from the non-paged pool because the pool is empty” event id 2019 error.

The new web server is a Dell (dude!) PowerEdge 1750, quad processors with (only) a gig of RAM. We might punch that up to 4 gig if we start really pushing this server. It will be heavily used after we deploy some of the new web applications we have planned for this year.

Setting up the servers was interesting. It has been a while since I have set up a new server from ground zero and it is nice to be able to set one up right the first time. After getting the base operating systems up to date and fully patched, I had to install several bits and pieces that are used by the various apps: XML parsing, Perl (along with several mods), Php, MDAC and SOAP to name a few.

Then, there is the matter of locking down the server to make sure it is secure. Then, porting over the code from the old server for my site and several others was the next chore.

After a few permission and pathing snafus, everything seems to be working well. The site should be much more responsive, even though this server is going to be doing much more than the old one did. I even did a little bit of redesigning.

One other thing that I’m working on is getting our new help desk software up and running. We elected to go with a product called DeskPro. It’s written in PHP (something that we don’t use a lot of here since Perl and ASP has been more than adequate) and the source is included so I can make modifications if we desired. I have been wanting to learn more about PHP (it seems like EVERYONE is using it these days.)

We’ll see how it goes.

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