Upgrading Zero and Flapjack

For a while now, I’ve had two virtual servers hosted by Linode: Zero and Flapjack. Zero is a smaller server that’s become a bit of a dumping ground for personal web sites, source code, and photos. Most of the content you see on the navi.cx domain comes from Zero. Flapjack is a larger and somewhat more restricted server that almost exclusively exists to run CIA. It just happens to have some extra disk space that we use for the occasional static file.

Linode is very good at what it is designed to do. It provides a friendly and very easy to configure Linux server for a reasonable price. It was never intended for performance or for capacity, however. Zero has been low on hard disk space almost since day one, and Flapjack has been nothing but performance bottlenecks. CIA could always use more RAM and CPU, but the biggest source of frustration has been Linode’s policy of throttling disk I/O. Their uptime also leaves much to be desired.

I’ve been long overdue for a dedicated server. After spending another evening shopping around, I finally settled on a 2.8 GHz P4 with 80GB of disk and 1GB of RAM from ServerMatrix. They seem to have a great reputation in the webmaster community, and their prices are good. The AUP isn’t perfect, but it’s livable.

I’m tempted to try out a little of my employer’s snake oil, and use VMware GSX to divy up this server. I’d like to keep Zero and Flapjack separate for fault isolation reasons, and it’d be great to have spare server images around in order to make upgrades and backups that much smoother. I’d love to be able to clone a production server in order to test experimental changes quickly.

Anyway, this is the first step toward a lot more headroom and performance for CIA, and for everything else on navi.cx. Hopefully I won’t go completely mad from the associated migration headaches- we’ll have to wait and see.

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