Macminicolo

Site moved to new mini at Macminicolo

This weekend I’m moving all my sites and email to a newer mini again at macminicolo, as they rock (for real). My older production mini was a core duo Intel one which was still running Leopard (could not find the courage to upgrade with no backup machine available). Getting a newer machine (a 2 year old Core 2 Duo) also meant I could upgrade to Lion. I’ve installed the new machine from scratch and I’m currently moving site for site and email per domain to make sure that everything goes seamless for the end users.

If you are reading this you are looking at the new mini running Lion!

Why not buy the latest hardware you might ask, because it cost a lot more then a second hand and I really don’t need the power of it. All the sites and mail running on my mini are not giving it a real hard time. If I got slasdotted/fireballed I’ve got WordPress tuned with caching and could handle some load. The highest I got was 10.000 page views in a day, no sweat…

Backup and recover strategies

I got an email from one of the users of DIYMacServer who encountered a hard drive failure on his web and mail server. He asked me about the best path to resolve this and have the least impact on his current users. This got me thinking, since I moved to macminicolo.net I’ve been so lucky I never had any serious problem and got lazy, so I need to look again at my own situation.

Currently I’ve got rsync scripts which copy my mail, web, database and /etc to an external disk. Thinking that I can rebuild a new mini in a few hours, I got a spare at home (which still would need a rebuild) and can change DNS entries quit quickly to make the change transparent for users. But this requires for my server to be online. I’ve used Amazon S3 earlier for backup earlier with a specific rsync script that copied everything over to Amazon. But somehow never got to that….

What is your solution for handling outages?

Small update

I’m very busy with a lot of updates which I need to test on all my test machines and production systems that I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day to get everything done. My current dayjob is also very interesting and challenging and requires a lot of input from my brain. But I’m still chugging everything as well a I possibly can so expect some more blogposts in the coming week.

Here is nice one for the people wh recently bought a mini, someone found out that it will take 8 Gb of usable memory just like the newer MBP’s. It’s a shame that it still soooo expensive but it is a good thing to look forward to. I’m almost temped to by another mini just to see how this would perform. I think it would make a awesome server, although I must confess that of my current production server only half of it’s 1Gb is in active use.

For people looking to host a server at MacMiniColo.net, they have some second hand mini’s listed on the sign up page which will do the job perfectly for less money. I did this myself as well and it is stil working. I like their service so much I recently renewed for a two year period.

Back to testing…

Update: Forgot to mention that I’ve finished installing everything on a clean install of Snow Leopard. So that now works as it is supposed to do. Next up getting my mini ready for the update and installing everything in 32 bits.

Mac mini not dead yet!

There where rumors floating on the internet that the Mac mini is dead. Sources indicated that european retailers weren’t getting any mini’s anymore. Which would mean that our beloved “server” platform is coming to an end. I guess the price of a second hand mini won’t come down soon if this really is true.

Appleinsider.com however came with a report this friday that gives a little spark of hope. Their report mentions a new mac mini that is on the way. As a source they have Brian Stucky of Macminicolo.net fame who mentions he knows what is coming. Read the article if you want to know more, I for one hope it is true as I really love the mini. Mine is getting a bit old and slow for desktop use and would jump at a newer and faster mini!

PS. On the appleinsider article there is a picture of the macminicolo.net datacenter. I wonder which of the 400 mini’s is mine?

The benefit of having two Mac mini servers

Since having a Mac mini at Macminicolo.net I currently have the luxury position of having two Mac mini’s connected to the internet. This gives me the ability to try new configurations for the DIYMacServer setup.

The first thing I tried, now I’ve got everything migrated, was getting my home server to work as a backup MX server. I found out that it was pretty straightforward and adding one line to the main configuration made it work.

I’ve added it to the documentation set, so if you have the same luxury as I have and have more than one server connected you could use the this as well. Read how to do it here: Configuring a backup (relay) MX server.

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