Reviving the blog

My one and only popular post was about choosing a hosting provider.  At the time I recommended linode; I bought a Linode VPS and a one.

Fast forward three years, and my exciting ideas for all the ways I could use a personal VPS have fizzled, and I’m now paying $20/month for a wordpress blog that I never update (though hopefully that last part will change).  As I logged back in to start writing a new post (which has gotten delayed, as you’ll see why), it hung!  I debugged it and didn’t see anything happening on top/vmstat/meminfo; I didn’t have anything else installed at the time so it was hard to look further.

I went to the Linode page, and learned a couple things:

  • This machine is an Ubuntu 9.10 install — which means it’s horribly out of date and I need to create a new server.
  • The machine has 1319 days of uptime.
  • I have a free upgrade from 512MB of ram to 1GB — oh right, I remember hearing about that.

The blog would intermittently work, so I decided to just go ahead and try the upgrade and see if it would help.  The process was very easy and went smoothly, and for a while my vps was running great and I thought my problems were solved.  Then, I tried to upgrade wordpress, and it hung again.  After getting pretty frustrated with it for a while, I eventually narrowed the issue down to network connectivity to the vm.  When I was on the machine through the Linode “Lish” console, I could fetch blog posts even when the blog was totally unresponsive from my home computer.  I ran a traceroute, and it looks like the issue was that the Linode network was dropping all the packets right before they hit my machine.  Things seem to be better now, so I’m going to optimistically chalk this up to the Linode network taking a while to adjust to the fact that my vm changed host machines (which I verified it did as part of the upgrade).  So overall, my experience with Linode has stayed roughly the same, that their management tools are definitely the best that I’ve worked with, but I’ve never been happy with the performance I’ve been getting.

Anyway, my plan was to make a post tonight about the new series of posts I want to do, but after debugging my vps I’ll have to delay it, hopefully until tomorrow (though given my posting history it could be another two years).

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