[islandlabs] Fwd: [Webteam] Past downtime, and a plan for action

Tony Biondo tonyb at tonybox.net
Sun Aug 15 12:00:39 EDT 2010

About the list downtime. Our mailing list is nicely hosted by Students
for Free Culture, here is an email about the downtime last week.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Asheesh Laroia <freeculture at asheesh.org>
Date: Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 11:45 AM
Subject: [Webteam] Past downtime, and a plan for action
To: webteam at freeculture.org

Hey all,

We've had a lot of downtime in the past 12 months. That's basically
entirely due to us being hosted on my personal server in Japan, which
has good bandwidth but lately has become very flaky.

Parker Phinney and I have arranged for us to move to a donated virtual
server from gandi.net. I think this will be a lot better for us.

gandi.net is a French network services company with a long history of
ethics and commitment to free software. If you don't know them, take a
look at http://www.gandi.net/no-bullshit and

And so the tradition of hosting freeculture.org outside the United
States continues. (-:

There's a big pile of maintenance that needs to be done, too. Tony
Biondo took an rsync snapshot of the current server, so he has a copy
of the filesystem (which should be enough data to do that). I have a
separate backup job that I'm working on -- it backs up the database on
the Japan server, moving them to a different server of mine. Once that
is in place, we will have enough to do a more drastic move if the
Japan box goes down again unexpectedly.

So here's my plan to make this happen:

* Set up that nightly database download job

* Wait for Parker Phinney to tell me how to SSH in to the new virtual server

Then my plan is to do move one service or website per day for the next
few weeks, in the following order:


* Mailman lists and email

* All the simple static websites like barbieinablender.org

* wiki.freeculture.org, including doing an upgrade and documenting how
to upgrade it properly

* all chapter blogs hosted by WordPress Multi-User
* Then, once those are done, upgrade them to WP 3.0

* All old-style chapter hosting sites (running on Lyceum) will then get moved

* freeculture.org itself

I think that would cover everything, but I'll double-check toward the
end of this.

One "random note":

In theory, the new setup does mean that if gandi.net wanted to
eavesdrop on our SSH or other encrypted communications, they have the
capacity to do that. They can read our key right of RAM, and they can
also read the filesystem and copy it off the hard disk. (In the old
setup, I could do that, and so could any of my friends with root on
the physical machine that freeculture.org was a VM on, as could people
with physical access to Joi Ito's data center.)

I don't think that GANDI is going to attack us, but I wanted to remark
on that as we move freeculture.org into a more normal virtual-server

I'm out for today, but I think if I dedicate 30-60 minutes a day for
the next few weeks to this, it will succeed.

If people want to help, reply, and we'll divvy things up. (Once
Parker's given me access to the new virtual server.)

-- Asheesh.

So you're back... about time...
Webteam mailing list
Webteam at freeculture.org

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