Shallow Thoughts

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Mon, 23 Feb 2009

Back up: sorry for the downtime

File under "Is it really worth running your own server?":

About a week before we'd planned to leave for SCALE, our router/firewall started acting flaky. Every could of days it would just stop routing, for no apparent reason. A few days before a trip is no time to debug a problem like that, so we re-purposed another router we happened to have sitting around. It seemed to work fine; we tested it from both inside and outside over several days, and everything was working fine.

We drove down to LA as planned, spent a few hours hanging out and having dinner with family, then decided on a quick email check before bed. Um ... check where? There was no shallowsky.com on the net ... nor any of the other domains we host from that server. Lovely. Down less than 7 hours after we'd left, and no way of fixing it until we got home a week later.

Luckily for me, a friend was generously willing to host my mail for the week I was gone (including the associated bucketloads of spam). That didn't solve the web downtime, but at least in theory I wouldn't miss any important messages that came in. At least, I wouldn't miss mail that happened to come from servers that checked the new MX record; turns out a lot of servers don't, and just keep re-checking their cached address for days or weeks, bouncing messages accordingly. Not much I could do about that.

Anyway, now I'm back from SCALE (the conference went well) ... and it wasn't the router at all. The repurposed router is chugging along just fine; it was the DSL modem that coincidentally chose our departure day to stop talking to the net. Never underestimate the power of coincidence.

Sorry for the downtime! Maybe it really is time to move this domain to an ISP.

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[ 20:03 Feb 23, 2009    More misc | permalink to this entry ]