Automated firewall iplist updates

So I’ve used pingdom for years to monitor servers/services related to my hosting business They offer a great service at a reasonable price, so I don’t have to setup my own monitoring hosts. They have tons of monitoring servers around the globe, which is a good way to not only monitor the up/down status, but also latency/page load times, etc.

The problem I often have though, is that monitoring servers are added/removed fairly often. I usually have pretty strict firewall rules on my servers, so allowing these servers is a must, since the activities that they perform is often seen as an attack. Pingdom publishes a list of active servers in the control panel, but keeping up with this and manually updating my firewall rules (I use CSF on my cPanel servers) can be a pain. Luckily Pingdom also has an RSS feed with the server list, though it’s in XML format of course. So I finally got around to setting up a script to automate updating the firewall rules daily with this list.

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Android Awesome Sauce

So if you haven’t noticed, I have a whole new section here devoted to all things android. Since I’m using an Incredible, most of my info is centered around that device. However, a lot of the information is the same for other phones, especially the EVO, which shares a lot of the same framework. I hope people find it helpful. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know, and I’ll take them into consideration.

Dropbox awesomeness

I’ve been using Dropbox (this is a referral link, as I get extra space, and so do you!) for a few months, and it is just pure awesome! The basic idea of it is, it’s 2GB of free disk space on a web server. Why would I need free web space since I run a web hosting company? I don’t, but Dropbox is much more than just free web space.

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Debian still sucks!

So my brilliant company signed another big debian customer. Lucky me gets to create images for this crap across 2 data centers, 3 hardware platforms, and 2 different versions of debian. Such BS. Of course the first server I try to build is complaining about the CDROM, cuz it’s virtual.


Updates to

I’ve been doing a lot of work on my hosting company over the past week. This weekend I decided that my shared hosting plans weren’t competitive enough anymore, so I jacked up all of the plans quite a bit. I also decided it’s time to start selling Virtual Private Server packages now, since the technology is rock solid. I’ve had one for several months now (this domain is actually hosted on it along with the rest of our personal domains), and it’s been awesome. It replaced a dedicated server, and the performance has been way better.

I love technology! I’m always amazed at how quickly things progress. When I started back in 2001, my biggest hosting plan was 500 MB of disk space. Now that’s my smallest plan. The fact that any monkey can setup a blog with a couple of clicks. Or even some more complex software. It just blows me away. I just wish I got rich off of it 😉

Off to the UK again…

It’s been a crazy past couple of weeks. I’ve been working ~12 hours a day trying to both get the UK shit straight, and make sure my group doesn’t completely self destruct. I am officially leaving tomorrow for my 2nd tour of duty in the UK. Once again, it almost didn’t happen. and quite honestly, had I not already made personal plans for the weekend, I would not be going until mid next week. The majority of my gear is still sitting in San Diego, so it’s doubtful that it will make it there until late in the week. My itinerary has me returning Friday morning, but it’s looking likely that I’ll have to stay a few days longer.

I’m so drained. I’m glad I have a couple of days to try and relax before the craziness resumes.

Migrations, Painting, and other fun stuff!

It’s been a busy week. I spent most of last week working on getting setup for that big Debian customer. Not only do I have to get a deployment setup for their 40 servers, but I also had to get the Data Center ready for this customer. We previously had about 15 of our blade enclosures on a different network. So I had to recable, and reconfigure all of the switches before I can build any servers over there. Got that all done. Got a working Debian image setup, and even got NIC bonding working on it, in addition to getting some of our standard stuff configured.

In the evenings Weds, Thurs, & Fri, I pressure washed the fence to prep it for painting. We weren’t planning on painting it ourselves, but after I got some quotes, there was no way I was paying. So we went to the ho depot, bought 10 gallons of fence paint, and started painting on Saturday.

After the problems last week, I rescheduled the migration for Saturday night. This time it went a lot better. I ran into a mail problem, and spent 2 hours trying to figure it out. Then all of the sudden I look back at something I thought I checked, and realized permissions were wrong on a file. The first thing I looked at when the problem occurred! After that, it was just random little issues. I finally got to sleep at about 7:00am.

Sunday, I woke up around noon, and got back to the painting. Steph had some dog event in DC, so she didn’t get home until like 6:00, but she helped me finish up the section I was working on. It’s a very time consuming process, so we only got a little bit done this weekend. If anyone wants to help, there will be cold beer and paint for all this weekend!

Migration Night Part 1

So it’s finally migration night for, and so far things are not starting smoothly. I tried to start the backup, and of course there appears to be a bug in the backup utility, which is supposedly resolved in the next version of Plesk. So I figure I might as well do the upgrade first, since the server I am migrating to is already running the latest version. Of course the upgrade fucking breaks! So now I first have to fix this hozed up upgrade before I can do the backup, migrate the data, then restore it.

It’s gonna be a long night!

Update 12:30AM
My ninja skills are still in tact. Got Plesk mostly working again, backup is now running.

Update 1:50AM transfer is going so slow. I’m only getting 1.4MB/s between the two servers, and I have 4.5GB of compressed data to transfer.

End Game 3:35am Well, it just wasn’t meant to be tonight. It’s 3:30 in the morning, and the restore has failed twice. Giving up on this attempt, and I’m gonna have to reschedule this damn thing.

Time flies when you work 10 – 12 hours a day

I seriously can’t believe it’s already mid September. I have been working a lot of crazy long days (more than usual) lately. It’s not that I’m required to do so, I just find myself still working at 6 or 7 PM most days. It’s a bug I have. I know that me working late doesn’t make the work go away, but for some reason I continue to do it.

Saturday, had coffee, did a little shopping, then came home and watched football on and off all day. Went out for chinese, then came home and forced myself to sit through the VT vs. LSU game. Sad, sad game. The only good that came of it was Glennon getting the boot, and Tryod getting to step in. There is hope VT fans!

On Sunday, we went out to Alexandria to see Tony & Dawn’s new house, then have dinner in Old Town at Austin Grill. Food was great, so was the company. We walked around Old Town a bit, and caught up. It’s been way too long since we’ve hung out. Definitely gonna try to make it a more regular thing.

Monday evening I decided to take off early (read: on time), went to Bungalow Billiards with Tony & Ivan for $1 Coronitas & pool. We had a good time, then came back to my place to watch the first half of the Monday Night Football game.

Still working on that stupid Debian build. After I got things working last week, I find out that now people want to have some input on how I deploy this. I’m like WTF? I asked the day that I heard about this deal, to get requirements. Not one fucking person spoke up with anything productive. 2 weeks later they want to talk about “standards”. So I have to start from scratch. On top of all this, I can’t even start builds until I get this massive re cabling project done in one of our Data Centers. I finally got the approval on the contracting quote, but of course the contractors are slammed this week. Might have to do a Saturday babysitting session. Once I get all the cabling done, I have to reconfigure & migrate 14 enclosure switches over to our other network. Fun stuff.

Friday night, is migration night for I’m really not looking forward to it, but I’m ready to get it out of the way. Especially since I’m paying for both of these servers right now, which really isn’t cheap.