October 17th, 2012

A big ‘thank you’ to Kevin Knasel! Kevin kindly donated funds for new SSD drives that will be used for upgrading our virtual machine datastores. We already use SSDs for our MySQL database servers but with this kind new donation we will eventually be able to run EVERYTHING off of SSDs. Woot! ๐Ÿ™‚

As any of your at home using SSD drives already know, it makes a huge difference in responsiveness. I am very excited to be able to bring faster speeds to all of our bloggers and I greatly appreciate Kevin’s donation.

Kevin runs a supermarket supply chain as well as the Branson’s Nantucket resort. While I am doing doing some technical consulting work for Kevin, this donation is a no strings attached perk for all Weblogs.us users (no ads, no spam, no nothing). That has been my experience with Kevin: he is a businessman but he’s also a cool guy that likes to help out causes he believes in.

Hopefully we can get Kevin to start a blog here at Weblogs.us so he can experience first hand the real-world benefits of his donation! So thank you again for your kind donation Kevin ๐Ÿ™‚

-JD, the founder of Weblogs.us

UPDATE: Kevin Knasel has been added to the hall of fame ๐Ÿ™‚

October 17th, 2012

Good news at the datacenter that the Weblogs.us servers call home ๐Ÿ™‚ JD made a trip down to Tulsa and :
+replaced a failed firewall with a brand new one (roughly 6x more powerful!)
+upgraded one of our Ethernet switches to the latest and greatest
+installed the replacement KVM setup so we have better remote diagnostic capabilities
+generally cleaned up our rack space

The end result is a much more manageable rackspace and the capability for much faster throughput. Specifically, under heavy loads our old firewall and switch setup might get a bit congested and slow things down… with the new setup so far speeds seem to stay rock solidly super fast ๐Ÿ˜‰ I realize those aren’t very objective measurements, but when you are downloading or uploading via FTP, or installing the latest WordPress upgrades, you should notice a significant difference!

More hardware upgrades to come, so stay tuned!

March 12th, 2012

Today I received an email from Neil over at KohlerCreated notifying me that his website’s database was down. I checked and some other blogs were effected too, so that meant that something was up with one of the database servers :-(. We also had a VM server being removed from our rack at the datacenter today.

After being unable to connect, ping or RDP into the database server I figured that it might have been inadvertently powered down or disconnected when the VM server was being taken out.

Luckily I was able to call the datacenter admin before he left the datacenter (so he didn’t have to make a trip back) and he determined that one of the ethernet network cables had been inadvertently snagged and unplugged during the removal.

After he reconnected the ethernet, we were back in business ๐Ÿ™‚

While we regularly backup our databases, this experience has motivated me to work toward seamless failover capability for our database servers. Within the next few months I’ll be in Tulsa to install new switches and a new backup firewall, so now I will also work on the DB server redundancy and failover.

Thank you to our bloggers for your patience, we appreciate you using our service!

PS thanks to Neil for notifying us about the issue in the first place!

January 8th, 2012

Over the past few months our bandwidth usage has skyrocketed. So today we took the first steps in optimizing our bandwidth usage.

For our bloggers there should be no negative changes. However, there will be some cool perks:
+’leaderboard’ type info showing the top blogs on Weblogs.us
+better performance*
+we can reduce our overhead**

*since we can more easily find blogs that are being spammed or are outdated, we can remedy those issues and everyone benefits with less server load and faster response times etc.
**bandwidth is one of our primary costs, and every GB of transfer saved helps minimize expenses… which is very important since we are a volunteer based organization that does not charge for personal hosting!

April 7th, 2011

We just received 16GB more memory for our new 1U server.

The memory for the new server was kindly donated by:

Kanetix.ca: travel insurance Canada

Thanks guys!

More memory specs:
16GB (4 x 4GB)

240-Pin

DDR2

FB-DIMM

ECC Fully Buffered

DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)

4x 4gb 2Rx4 pc2-5300F-555-11

240-Pin DDR2 FB-DIMM ECC Fully Buffered DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)

March 29th, 2011

We’re very excited to have a nice new (to us) 1U server headed out way:

Still deciding whether this machine will become our primary DB server, or serve as a higher-end VM server for us. Either way, in addition to this one, we have one more server in our near future and hopefully we’ll be set for a while after that :-).

Processor: Two (2) Intelยฎ Xeonยฎ Quad Core Processor X5460 3.16GHz Harpertown 12M cache 1333MHz FSB

X5460 single CPU benchmarks (so the new server should be roughly twice as fast as these benchmarks…)

RAM: 8GB [Four (4) 2048mb D558CDual In-Line Memory Module, 2G, 667M, 256X72, 8, 240, 2RX8
(to be upgraded to 24GB total)

Power Supply: Two (2) P424D Power Supply, 670W, PMBUS Delta

Storage: 15K SAS drive for OS, SSD for data

Remote access: DRAC5 card (Dell Remote Access Card) installed

Ethernet: Gigabit ethernet network ports

The best part: this machine should provide some great additional speed and capability for all our bloggers :-).