Email: Bad

So, in the process of upgrading my email server to Exchange 2010 Release Candidate, the power went out [it was out for a whole day] and now it’s VERY messed up. I’m trying to restore services, but we cannot send or receive any new emails right now…

So, I’m not deliberately ignoring you. This time.

Database Migration

I know many of you won’t care too much about this, but I’ve migrated my web site photo gallery from MySQL to Microsoft SQL Server 2008. It’s now working on the new server. It was actually rather painstaking to get it set up correctly, but it’s done now.

The only thing you might miss is the links are kind of ugly now, not the neat links they used to be. I may be able to fix that in the future.

UPDATE: I fixed the links and they’re back to what they were.

A Day of House Work [In and Out]

Gardening is hard work – especially when you find some kind of rock under the topsoil. Digging around it, we found that it could be broken into pieces. Not easily, but it could be done. So, for the last hour or so, we’ve been digging through it just to get holes deep enough for some flowers. Of course, we had to borrow a shovel to do this work, so that’s now on the list of stuff we have to buy.

The barbeque is going well – I think I have the temperature down where it needs to be. It takes a lot of work just to check on it during the day. I’m glad I have nowhere else to be!

I’m also working on the new web site, or rather, redirecting the old website to the new domain name. This is the web site for our new photography business name: Phillips Photographik. It’s the same site for now that the old one pointed to, but now I’ve changed some of the language to reflect that it’s Laura and I, and updated the contact emails. I still have to update the banner.

It will take some time for us to finalize a logo, but we’ll get it done. At least this gives us a start!

We’ve been stagnant for so long, but things are going to change soon.

Long Time No Blog

I’ve been slacking off. It’s just that simple.

I do have some excuses… Wanna hear ’em? The server’s been broke and I’ve been working to fix it so I had no time to blog… Work’s been kinda busy, so I’ve had no time to blog… We’re moving to a new house soon, so I’ve had no time to blog…

These are all true, but if I’d really wanted to or had something to say, I probably would have made time. There’s just no excuse that’s good enough.

However, after fighting a long, arduous battle with my server, it’s now up and running very well. It’s rock solid and the environment is all mostly virtualized [5 computers out of 8 are virtual] and faster than it was before. There will be some down time, though. When I go home tonight I have to move the server back into the closet where it lives.

And then, there’s the “data center move”. We bought a new house and will be moving in a couple of weeks. There will be some down time for that. Not much I hope, since there will be a week’s worth of overlap in my Internet service.

We’re really excited about the new house – we won’t have to be at the whim of the landlords and can chose when we move next.

Maybe, I’ll have some more time to blog after the hecticness of the next few weeks passes…

Server: Good

After trying many things including getting the product team involved in diagnosing the problem, I decided to rebuild the server from scratch. That seemed to correct the problem of Hyper-V not working correctly. No one is sure why, but my guess is that the install got corrupted for some odd reason.

I have to say, though, that getting the product group involved was kind of cool even though they couldn’t help – which wasn’t their fault, but the fact that I didn’t have the equipment to do the kernel level debugging that they needed to do.

Now, however, the web site is back up and running on the new Hyper-V box!

New Server

The new server case has arrived and I have put all the parts into it and it starts up nice. It’s good to have everything fit where it’s supposed to…

One problem, though: it’s LOUD! I think OSHA would have to classify this machine as hazardous to your hearing. I think I’m going to have to put this box in the closet with the other rack servers. At least it works, though.

Once it’s built on a single hard drive, I will shut down the main server and move the large array to the new server and turn it on… I’ll then shut down the old for good. It should be rock solid, then.

Well, it had better be…

Temporary Insanity?

Many of you might have noticed that there was an outage today… Yes, it was my fault. I was too anxious and didn’t wait the proper amount of time.

Let me ‘splain.

For the last year or so, I’ve been using GoDaddy.com as my registrar. Before that, I used a service called easyDNS.com. EasyDNS.com not only was my registrar, but they provided some additional services, the critical one of which was a backup MX service. What this does is that if your main email server is down, they will hold the emails until it comes back up. But, last year I decided to move to GoDaddy.com due to cost. They are much cheaper, but they don’t offer the backup MX service. That means that every time my server reboots or is offline due to a power outage or whatever reason, email doesn’t get delivered. In fact, it gets rejected. When I had easyDNS, this was not a problem.

I have been doing work on the network lately and have been noticing that people were sending us email and we’d never get it. So, today, I re-enabled my old account. I didn’t transfer my registrations, but just signed up for the DNS service. I then immediately turned my DNS server records to point to easyDNS from GoDaddy. This broke everything since I didn’t wait the prescribed six hours. I turned them back and waited after I finished reading to the bottom of the email…

It’s back now and everything is working just fine.

Sorry!

Virtually Configured

You may have noticed a short (3 hour) outage tonight… or not. The web server, as you know, was virtualized a couple of weeks ago. However, it was taking up space on my file server – over 250GB of space. So, I took the old hard drive out of the physical web server and installed it in the Virtual Server machine and moved the virtual hard drive files to that disk, making it dedicated for the web server only.

Voila! It’s a little faster now as well.

Time For The Winter Theme

Now that it’s cold outside and has dropped below freezing a couple of times and even been a few flurries in the wee hours of the moring up here, I feel that it’s time to “winterize” the site. Notice the nice, snowy banner… That was near our old house. I can’t wait for real snow!

Well, it’s now the weekend and I’m happy work is done with for a while. Next week will be very short and then we’ll fly out to Mexico!