..and from a local web-server to a cloud based virtual machine.
So I’ve been running this site on an old Dell D400 laptop for a while. Arch Linux has been the operating system of choice. This machine has performed admirably as a web server for many months now. But its single core 1.6 Ghz processor and 5400 RPM hard disk are limiting factors for performance and expansion. Lets migrate it to the Cloud…
First step was to select a place to host the site from.
I went with a Digital Ocean droplet, I was able to quickly sign up for a single core machine with 512Mb of RAM and 20 Gigs of SSD storage for $5 per month ($6 with weekly backups). The lower amount of memory was not such an issue as Arch was using maximum of around 400Mb and that is running more services that just the website. I could pick a data-center in London and speeds to and from droplet are clearly faster than my broadband’s 240 down and 24 up.
I’m a big fan of Arch Linux, but at this time Digital Ocean don’t offer it and to be honest I’d never expect them too. CentOS is a solid choice and familiar to an R.H.C.E. like me, Ubuntu is also available but while I’ve used it a lot I just don’t enjoy some of the problems that crop up and how you need to solve them. So in the end I decided to go with FreeBSD. The choice came down to this, I can work with that operating system faster and the base install seems to be more memory efficient which should not be a factor, but its always better to have more RAM than you think you’ll need.
So the droplet was created very quickly, I had to generate an ssh key and associate it with the droplet first. Then I still had some trouble logging in. This came down to the fact that its not very clear that you need to use that key to login as the user FreeBSD then use ‘su’ and ‘sudo’ as needed, I eventually found out through Digital Oceans blog, would be nice if it said so on the creation screens. Once that was out of the way we quickly install our web-server/database/language stack setup each component and wrote some test pages to make everything worked.
Finally I moved across this WordPress blog in about 2 minutes, using tar, gzip and ftp and it worked pretty much straight away. Its so nice when your planned migration even a small one like this actually goes like clockwork!
So I will be blogging more instead of maintaining the servers, next I want to see what the state of MongoDB is on FreeBSD I’ve a feeling it isn’t going to be pretty, but time will tell.