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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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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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 😉

my brain is bigger than yours

I’ve spent a lot of time working on the new users site. The last iteration died a miserable death long ago. In the past I’ve used a full blown CMS like PHPNuke or Mambo. This time I decided to keep it simple and use WordPress. I’m pretty happy with the results so far. I also found a pretty slick help desk called Trellis Desk that I have setup as well. I’ve tried several in the past, and they all either cost too much, or are a pain to get working the way I want (often both). I moved all of this to a new server, so I don’t have to worry about people having access if there’s a issue with the server that the control panel lives on (like last week).

Aside from that, work has been kicking my ass. I had to take a few days off this week to clear my head. I’ve actually been seriously considering finding a new job in the past week. I really don’t want to leave, but I’m frustrated with the way things have been going downhill, and I feel completely helpless to fix them. We’ll see how things play out over the next few weeks. If things don’t get better, I’m definitely going to pursue some of the leads I get sent all the time.