www.csamuel.org now using Xen!

At work we’ve been using the Xen hypervisor with various Linux distros (Centos and CERN’s Scientific Linux at present) for running the multiple gatekeepers that we need with different versions of the Globus Toolkit installed without needing to buy the physical hardware (they’re a bit like webservers, occasional bursts of activity with large periods of inactivity). Our experience is, in short, it rocks! The main hassles have been the necessity to use Redhat derived distros which lack Debians nice debbootstrap install system.

Now Damon (you’re email is over quota, mate!), who worked with me and has now moved to the UK (the two events are not related I hasten to add 🙂 ) spotted a company called Rimu Hosting based in NZ who are offering Xen based virtual machines for you to use with what I consider reasonable pricing (warning, they use US dollars, not NZ, on their site) factoring in complete control over your virtual box.

Having an urgent need to consolidate the various sites Donna and I run plus the fact that our ADSL provider is a Telstra reseller and Telstra have a seriously broken DNS configuration (PTR records with no matching A records, a no-no by RFC 1912) which plays merry hell with our outgoing email we’ve now signed up for a Debian Sarge based Xen system.

So I’ve now moved www.csamuel.org as the first test. It’s reasonably complicated as it’s using Postnuke and Gallery and hence relies on MySQL, but doesn’t need a working email system which will take a little longer to migrate as the anti-spam protection there is quite complicated.

We’ve been more than happy with our other providers, Nick Conein at MIkalnet in Canada for Donna’s site and PHPWebhosting in the US who’ve hosted my site since 2002, but the problems we’ve got at the moment have made this necessary.