Firebug

     For those of you who are web developers, there is one tool that goes with Firefox that you should have, it’s called “Firebug“, and what it does, among other things, is measure the time every component of your web page takes to download.

     Many of you will find web hosting offers for $3-4 per month that might sound good on the surface.  I recommend you use this tool to load a page hosted on these sites (and not the sites home page because often they will put that on a different high end server), and compare the response time to sites hosted here.

     There are two important metrics to note, the time it takes the first component to start loading, this is known as time to first data, and it is important because Google assigns a higher rank to those sites that gets to first data under 200ms.  The other is the time it takes the whole page to load because the user experience is impacted there.

     If you run this on our home page, it will be the same as any equivalent user page (it is possible to write bad php or javascript code and slow a page even on a fast server) because we use the exact same servers based upon Apache 2.4.x (whatever the most current release is) everywhere, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time optimizing and fine tuning it.

     I’ve also spent time optimizing the supporting infrastructure, disk I/O, caching, etc. I want my customers to be successful, and to that end I do my best to give you every advantage.  Most of these low end providers only want to minimize their cost per customer in order to maximize their profits.

Mammoth – The Remaining Three Customers

This will affect the remaining three customers not affected by the first outage.  Again, it will result in being moved to a faster backbone circuit so end result is worthwhile.

Date: 3/11/2015
Start time: 5:00 am MST
End time: 8:00 am MST
Affected: 74/OBGJ/090579//ACSO

Detail:

Maintenance is being performed in order to groom the OC3 circuits to the new OC12
circuit. All ATM customers on: 74/OBGJ/090579//ACSO will be affected. Customers will
go down and come up as their circuits are groomed to the new service, some customers
may need to reboot to restore services. Estimated downtime is roughly 2 hours but
maybe as short as 5 minutes for some customers.

Mammoth Networks Maintenance To Effect Our DSL Customers in CenturyLink territory:

I received this note from Mammoth, the work they are doing will cause an interruption for all but two of our customers.  The good news is that you’ll be on a faster circuit when the work is completed.  Mammoth has always been good about provisioning as necessary for the traffic they carry.

Date: 3/10/2015
Start time: 5:00 am MST
End time: 8:00 am MST
Affected: 74/OBGJ/088866//ACSO

Detail:

Maintenance is being performed in order to groom the OC3 circuits to the new OC12
circuit. All ATM customers on: 74/OBGJ/088866//ACSO will be affected. Customers will
go down and come up as their circuits are groomed to the new service, some customers
may need to reboot to restore services. Estimated downtime is roughly 2 hours but
maybe as short as 5 minutes for some customers.

Google Ads in WordPress

     If you have Google Ads in a WordPress blog, and they stopped serving from your home directory, http://www.eskimo.com/~user, this is because we switched to serving all of eskimo’s pages with https.

     To fix this go into the Dashboard of your WordPress site, select Settings and General Settings, and change the URL’s from http to https.

     However, DO NOT do this if your blog is part of a virtual domain or web hosting package, UNLESS you have an SSL certificate and have SSL enabled (we do not charge extra for this but you must provide the certificate).

Incoming Mail Delay Resolved

     We had an issue that I became aware of around midnight, but that probably had been going on earlier in the day, where mail backed up in queue on our servers that take mail incoming from the Internet, rather than deliver properly.

     There were multiple issues, Yahoo couldn’t handle list mail as fast as our server wanted to send it, so that caused some congestion of the mail queue.

     I didn’t edit the network-config script when I changed name servers so the machines reverted to old name servers not as well tuned to handling the mail volume.

     The lock file on the bayesian spam filtering didn’t get removed during an update for some reason.  This also caused things to back up.

     The number of processes postfix was allowed to fork was excessive and driving the machines into swap, that also has been adjusted.

     It isn’t completely finished processing the queue but the servers are chunking away at a good rate and should be fully caught up in a couple of hours.

Name Server Performance

     The new server software seems to have stopped the crashes but I still wasn’t satisfied with the performance of ns1 and ns2, especially ns1.  I discovered that the main load was from the mail servers accessing various real time black hole lists as part of Spamassasins’ spam scoring.

     To alleviate this I set-up two new name servers specifically for mx1 and mx2 to use, taking the load off of ns1 and ns2.  These new servers are not directly available to the public but have been created to reduce the load and improve the response time to those that are.  I now consistently get responses <100ms on all four public name servers.

Slow Services – Recompiling / Updating BIND

     I am updating BIND because the version that we have has been crashing due to recently discovered exploits.  Each name server will be out of service for a period of time and during this time responses to various servers may be delayed by 5 seconds if the resolver for that service happens to pick the out of service name server first.

Out of Office

      I will be going to the co-location facility to attempt to resurrect the old Eskimo.Com SunOS shell server.

     In addition I will be working on some firewall rules to prevent idiots brute force password guessing from locking me out of the router.

     If you call during this time, please leave a message and include the latest time that it will be okay for me to call you back.  If it’s before that time when I return I will call.

     Thank you.