New server (again)

Published on Sat, 2008-07-05 - 03:14

As you might have read earlier on this blog, I've been self-hosting this website along with a lot of friends and clients on a rented server at EasySpeedy. I have done this for about 18 months, and it's been fun to have my very own webserver with 2 GiB RAM and the works, but as I've come to realise, this is a huge waste of money and resources.

A few thousand visits a day across 20 or so sites on a server of that magnitude, so it spends the most of its time idle, so I've been on the lookout for something else. Shared hosting is a pain in the rear quarters – I've been unable to find something that suited me since TextDrive closed down. The many Linux-based VPS' didn't appeal to me either, since that usually involves Xen or some other virtualisation-system – and pain.

So I've been reading a lot of good stuff about OpenSolaris in general and it's Zones/Containers technology in particular, so after playing a bit around with it in a virtual machine on my Mac, I decided to try it out for real with a Joyent Accelerator.

All the marketing hyperbole aside (check out the page, it's kinda hard to see what they're actually selling), I've now got a small server of my own. Or in fact, I have a slice of a very big server. I think the Solaris Zones thing is somewhere between virtualisation and BSD jails. All the customers on this server share the same Kernel and all the essential stuff, but I have root access to play in my own little world. I can reboot my zone without actually rebooting the server – and best of all, its fast.

I've moved this site over on the Accellerator, and after figuring out where everything was on the file system, I had no problems setting it up.

I can't feel a real difference between my Accelerator and my old server when it comes to serving pages quickly, even though the old server had a lot more resources. So that's positive. And I'm only going to pay half of what I did before. So yay for Accellerators. I can truly recommend trying it out, even if OpenSolaris is a bit different that what you're used to. I might even grow to like OpenSolaris better.

And goodbye, EasySpeedy. I'd still recommend these guys if you actually need a full server. But since I don't, it's nice to know that I'm going to save a bundle on sharing – and it's even good for the environment :)

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