June 20, 2011

474 words 3 mins read

Weekend Server Overhaul

In early 2010 I signed up and migrated to Linode.com for my server needs. At that point in time, the latest version of Ubuntu that was offered was 9.10; the only useful colo location was Dallas; and IPv6 was unheard of (well, not exactly unheard of, but having a server with IPv6 was). We’ve had several new versions of Ubuntu since then, a plethora of new Colos have opened up, and IPv6 is available — so this weekend I did some major overhauling.


This might sound very strange coming from someone who is a demon for new toys… but in the nearly 18 months since I’ve signed up for Linode, I never once upgraded my install of Ubuntu. It isn’t that I had some fascination with Karmic Koalas, but more that I’ve had some VERY bad experiences doing in place upgrades on VPSs. On several different occasions (before Linode) when I tried to upgrade my VPSs, their images were effectively destroyed (mostly due to kernel & modules issues). I only decided to try an upgrade because Linode had detailed instructions on how to upgrade to 11.04 (Natty). Of course, I had to go find the upgrade to 10.04 and 10.10 instructions first. I followed the directions and over the course of about 24 hours went from 9.04 to 12.04. Snowulf.com is now run by Narwhals!

New Colo

As I mentioned, when I signed up for Linode, the closest datacenter was Dallas, TX. Being that I’m on the West Coast, that isn’t exactly close/optimal. Of course, my previous VPS server was in Michigan — so not much change there. This weekend though, that changed. I created a new Linode 768 in Fremont, CA — which is an upgrade from the previous Linode 512. The process of cloning the images from one datacenter to another took a few hours but was painlessly easy, following their instructions.


I’ve been running IPv6 via a Hurricane Electric provided IPv6 tunnel for quite a bit of time now. Since the tunnel wasn’t 100% reliable, and added significant latency (depending on where you were) — it wasn’t a fantastic solution for a server (though using it for a client is ok). This weekend I enabled Linode’s native IPv6 (which has been available for a month plus, but I missed the memo) and made sure to put in an AAAA record for all domains. Plus, Linode offers IPv6 DNS now, so you should be able to hit everything using native IPv6.

In the end… you shouldn’t notice any difference in service. That’s the great part about being a SysAdmin — if you’re doing your job correctly — no one will ever notice anything you do. Though, hopefully the site will be a little faster and a little more responsive (due to the increased amount of RAM & newer software). Enjoy!