Weekend Saga

It’s been a funny weekend.

I woke up Saturday to find that my server had been terminated, and after some support tickets with my web host (sent to my backup email address!) it seems they had a “problem” and had accidentally deleted everyone’s virtual servers! So they issues me with two new empty servers, which I then had to restore from backups, thankfully I rsync’ed the previous evening. They’d also allocated new IP addresses so I had to update some zone files and get reverse-DNS sorted, luckily I had set my DNS TTL to 15sec, so they instantly propagated. 8 hours later I had both servers back up and working as if nothing had happened, and that day’s emails started coming in.

Next I realised I’d left my mobile SIM card in England, so phoned my carrier and found they would courier me a replacement, so then the search began for someone who would be available to take a signed-for delivery at Sunday lunchtime and mail it to me. Well that never happened for one reason or another (mainly the inability to get anyone to answer their phones on the weekend!) but luckily PP mentioned that I had a free SIM with my recently-purchased Orange San Francisco, so I managed to convince Orange to activate it for me and send me a new PIN, with the promise of topping it up with £50 worth of credit, they also gave me my free £10 topup from the Argos deal. So once again I have a UK mobile phone number with enough credit for a good few calls at 38p/minute including roaming charges!

Mum’s got addicted to Wii Sports tennis, so we were up until 2am playing mixed doubles. I’m now a pro with a score of over 1200 and have played computer players with 1900 scores.

After having a play with Mum’s Kindle3, I’ve decided to get one for myself, not least to take advantage of free 3G internet usage. I tried to read Stephen Fry’s autobiography, The Fry Chronicles using FBReader and Kobo Desktop on my netbook the other night, and it was just too bright, and like on my Android phone it had too much glare in the sun during the day, so not really successful. Of course if I go on holiday anywhere now I’m going to need a rucksack to carry my netbook, Kindle and smartphone alone!

I’ve upgraded the blog to WordPress 3.1.1

Back Online!

I got fed up with my shitty web host and their downtime – apparently they fucked up the OpenVZ kernel when running “yum update” on their CentOS server, then had RAID controller issues, then their ISP null-routed them after they got blacklisted by Spamhaus, then they fucked up the config of their new host node, blah, blah, lots of excuses (including flooding in Australia depsite the servers being in Amsterdam/Munich/Kansas, and poor outsourcing).

Anyway, I’ve moved to a UK company now and Email and websites are back online.

Luckily I had backups from a couple of days ago when the old server was briefly online, so I setup a new server and rsync’ed to it, then from that I rsync’ed to a 2nd server, and rsync’ed the differences from home. That meant server1 was online overnight and server2 was online a few hours later.

Funnily enough I’ve got a better resource/price deal than with the old hosts!

Moved server (again!)

I’ve finished migrating my old server to three new ones, well an email server (Germany), web server (Germany) and backup server (USA).

Things are going faster and using less memory as I’ve disabled the unused services – like no websites on the email server, no email or SSL on the web server etc.

It didn’t go without a hitch though as the host nodes were new builds, so were still being setup whilst my VPS’s were being deployed.

I’ve updated the round-robin DNS and got reverse DNS setup now:

dig blog.the-jedi.co.uk
blog.the-jedi.co.uk.	15	IN	CNAME	the-jedi.co.uk.
the-jedi.co.uk.		15	IN	A
the-jedi.co.uk.		15	IN	A

I basically rsynced my old VPS to one of the new ones, and then rsynced the other two from there (using my host’s 100mbps connection instead of my 8mbps!) fiddled about with the settings, and then rsynced them back down to my local copy, which of course just transferred the changes.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the backup server, I guess I could do some sort of automated rsync from the email and web servers, so if I wanted to use it I’d just change the DNS records and wait 15secs for propagation.

I watched District 9, which has got to be the worst bit of Sci-Fi since Cloverfield, especially considering I didn’t realise the alien bits had subtitles which I hadn’t turned on until I was half way through the movie!

JunOS config checking

Today I’ve been automating Juniper router configuration assessment. Basically issuing a “show configuration” from the CLI and then using a Nessus .nasl script to parse the results.

The main problem is that JunOS uses multiline config statements, so to check if HTTP is enabled, you end up having to go through this lot:

system {
    services {
        web-management {
            http {
                interface em0.0;

So you have to use a combination of functions – ereg() which can look for a multiline regex and return true/false, egrep() which can return a single matching line from a multiline string and eregmatch() which returns just the matching portion of that single line!

I’m thinking of checking for a true return of ereg() and then looping through the whole string to return the matching bit, seems a bit naff, but may be better than three function calls….

I’m not sure if I’m going to stick with my new VPS host, they don’t seem to know their way around OpenVZ, Hell I’ve been playing with it for a few days and seem to be able to run rings around them. The support does seem to have been outsourced to Pakistan by the looks of the IP addresses showing up in the control panel logs.

Every time they reboot the host node or my VPS for whatever reason (without telling me!) they seem to lose the NTP permissions, or bugger up the iptables state/conntrack modules etc. As I’ve not migrated to them yet and I’ve got a month or so before I have to pay them again and my existing host shouldn’t go away that quickly, I might sign up for some other hosts in the meantime.

New server migration

I’ve got one of my new VPS’s setup today. Just got to wait for reverse DNS to propagate and get iptables sorted and NTP enabled:

vzctl set  --capability sys_time:on --save
vzctl set  --iptables ipt_state --save 

I’m not going to switch over until I get the German servers up and running though, as the network speed of the American server isn’t so great (a few more hops I guess).

My old host said it was a 64-Bit server but turns out it was running i686 kernel, so the container was 32-Bit no matter what the host node was. This I found out after I tried to rsync my old server to my new 64-Bit one, which promptly stopped working. Luckily the control panel allows you to very quickly rebuild the server using the base install, so I switched to a minimal 32-Bit Ubuntu 8.04 template and rsync’ed again, and now its all running fine.

Dad came over and put the CAT6 to my Mac in conduit today, looks much better than blue cable running along the ceiling! Still got to paint over an exposed section. We also got the satellite cable routed into the Snooker room, so have Sky TV in there now too, as well as one of the Xbox’s.

My cousins/uncle etc. are over so going over there on Monday, sometime this weekend we’re going to be laying the cement path around M&D’s extension.

I just watched Drag Me To Hell, which was an OK horror flick with a predictable ending and some totally irrelevant side-stories. Much better than Dance Flick which was one of the *-Movie franchise films, a spoof of Save The Last Dance, High School Musical etc; not great. Bruno was absolute rubbish.

I’ve got terrible ear-ache and seem to be sleeping a lot lately, so suspect I’m coming down with something….