A day without corfield.org
June 19, 2007 ·
As many of you noticed (or not?), my site was offline pretty much all of today. A couple of people notified early in the day that there was a problem but I'm used to the occasional outage on a shared host so I didn't think anything of it at first. All the same, I sent an email to HostMySite support asking "wassup?" but instead of the usual (polite, helpful) email response, I got a phone call. Apparently the shared server was being brought to its knees by unusual traffic to my site (it wasn't clear exactly what - only that my site was bringing the server down again every time they tried to restart it). I'm fairly certain it was a spambot attack, possibly combined with one or more search engines trying to index my site. They wanted to move me to a better plan where I'd be more isolated from other users - understandable - and, to be honest, both Lou Honick and Neil Heuer at HostMySite have been trying to get me to move to a VPS for a while, partly because they want me to see how it performs and write about my experience I suspect. I said I was happy on shared hosting but the tech on the phone said they really wanted to move me so I told them to do whatever they felt was necessary. They said it would take several hours - to build out a new VPS and copy everything from my old site. Sure enough, throughout the afternoon, I received a steady stream of emails as parts of the infrastructure were brought up. Once I noticed the site was actually working again, I started to explore the new site admin console and see exactly what they were offering. The VPS uses the Virtuozzo Power Panel which allows you to SSH into the server (via a Java applet in a browser window) and also has a lot of system monitoring and management features. My initial impression is that it's very good. I'll write up more detailed notes in the next few days I expect. There were a couple of lingering glitches that I noticed and when I pinged support again, they called me - on my home phone - and walked me through everything I needed to know about the new setup and resolved the issues I had. I've always had very good experiences with HostMySite but today's experience was above and beyond the call of duty.