All Systems Are Go

Looks like I got all (or most) of the kinks worked out. The site's been pretty stable for the last couple of days. Yeah, I know, it's ONLY a couple days. Compared to crashing every couple hours (or completely out), I'll take that as very good news.

When I first transferred the site from Hurricane Electric to Linode a couple weeks ago, the site was pretty much dead. The problem was there were too many slow database queries that just piled up until it used up all of the server's resources and caused it to freeze. I use Drupal. Most of the those slow queries were generated by a Drupal module called Views. I ended up re-indexing some of the tables in the database and hacking into the Views module to speed up those queries. After I did that, the site was at least workable. The site loaded up pretty quickly (in seconds instead of minutes). The only problem was it crashed every 2-5 hours and lots of error messages showed up on the site. I wrote a script that automatically rebooted the system and fixed the error messages. Each reboot took 5-10 minutes so it wasn't too bad. As a user, you might not even notice it. Still, the scary thing was one of the crashes could destroy or corrupt my data (very unlikely, but possible). I ordered more RAM for the server, and that fixed the outages.

After a couple weeks of on-and-off outages, traffic to the site went in the gutter obviously. I was apprehensive about looking at the logs. Fortunately, since the site stabilized, traffic is returning to its normal levels.

Like I said in the previous entry, I was pretty happy about the service from Hurricane Electric while I was with them. That is, until recently. Those guys are not responding to my request for a full backup of my database. Sure, I'm leaving them for another hosting company, but do they have to be an ass about it. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A couple weeks ago, I had even recommended them to a relative. Now, I'm kinda regretting doing that.

So far, I'm really happy with Linode. Best customer service ever. They do it thru IRC (internet relay chat). Even though I didn't know much about setting up a web server, I was able to set this whole thing up by instant messaging them on IRC. I'm thinking other companies should offer a similiar service.

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