Dramas in Hosting

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So as I've mentioned previously, the company that I helped build from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s has been bought out again and again, finally by Vodien, a Singapore company, and this week my website had significant outages.

On Tuesday night it went down some time in the evening.  The whole host was offline - no response on web, mail, ftp or cpanel ports.  Another site that I know about on that host was also down (graphixactivewear - the site they stuffed up the config for, which has broken people's rss feeds for any reader that tries https first).  I couldn't get to sleep.  This had every chance of not being just a regular outage, but a deliberate act to shut the server down.  Maybe other people were contacted to move their hosting but I wasn't?  I'd backed up my blog database relatively recently (only a month ago), but having to reconstruct it without the old one being online would be all kinds of stressful.  And my mail would start bouncing too.  

First thing Wednesday morning I checked on it.  The uptime on the server was fifteen minutes.  So I frantically started backing everything up.  I backed up the mysql database again.  And I tarballed my whole blog directory and downloaded it.  I screenshotted cpanel configs for future reference.

At work I asked Tony who he hosted with these days.  He said his club uses VentraIP - not cheap but good customer service and excellent up time.  So I had a look and they were actually even cheaper than the company Stu had recommended, and included unlimited addon domains (the other mob wanted $10/month per addon domain).  I read around the support pages, and with cpanel hosting it looked like they'd do everything I needed.  I had a bit of a chat online to confirm a few things, and as an added bonus, they were offering a half price special - for what I wanted it would only be $5/month for max of first twelve months, $10/month after that.  

Friday night I signed up!

I setup kazza.id.au as the main domain and johnson.id.au as an addon domain.  Then I started fiddling around with johnson.id.au - if I was going to break something it may as well be the less important one!  

I thought I would try staging the transition.  Move mail over first, then web.  Exept cpanel on Vodien wouldn't let me change my MX record - it would only let me change an A or CNAME record.  hrmm.  ok well let's try something else - create a test website just for fun, pointed over at VentraIP.  Except the DNS entry I created never ended up in DNS.  Currently it seems the cpanel integration with DNS is not working properly.  And I can't manage DNS with Vodien itself, because it's not hooked into the old CIA/Enetica DNS servers.  I could manage DNS on Vodien if I pointed at their nameservers, but that's not going to help cpanel.

So this morning I setup johnson.id.au the way I wanted it for mail, but still pointing web back at CIA.  Then I changed the nameservers for johnson.id.au to point at VentraIP's name servers.  Well other than the fact I struggled to find this option because it was unintutive, once I did it it worked swimmingly, and quite quickly too.  I sent myself a test email from Gmail and it worked!  Was able to see it on VentraIP's webmail!

So now to configure Eudora.  I use the lastest version -  From 2006.


It only supports up to TLS 1.0, but VentraIP only support from TLS 1.1.  Grunt.  I tried it with Thunderbird and it worked fine, but really didn't want to transition all my mail.  But, internet to the rescue, there's a Sourceforge project called Hermes which has updated dlls for TLS.  Had to tweak things a little (eg changing the pop port in the ini file, and set SSL to Required, Alternate Port) but eventually got Eudora to download my mail!  Hurrah!

Then I spent the rest of the day getting my blog updated so I can do another snapshot/database backup.  

This will likely be the last entry I post on this host.  Now the drama of trying to move this blog begins.  If you post any comments I'll still get them, and if I could be bothered I'll try and reconstruct them on the new host later, but if not, they may be lost on the site.  If I'm not too worn out from it all, and if everything "works", I may take this opportunity to upgrade to the last free version of Movable Type, and get a mobile-friendly template installed.  We shall see!


kapgar said:

And people wonder why I’m so willing to pay Typepad to do all this for me. I barely understood what much of that meant. So with this switch, will I have to subscribe to a new feed?

July 5, 2020 4:15 AM


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Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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