server migration snafus

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After 20+ back-and-forth messages with WebIntellects, my hosting provider, the problems seem to have subsided.

They finally set the permissions so I could access my database, and I was able to restore the lost month of data from my backups, and get things back to where they were yesterday afternoon.

Except...I suddenly ran out of disk space. Which didn't make any sense, because the only thing on this server is the blog, which isn't that big. I increased the disk allocation from 100MB to 300MB in my reseller panel (I manage multiple domains from one account), noting to my surprise that I was using 175MB of that space, and tried again to update the database...only to get another space-related error. A check of the control panel showed I was now using all 300MB! Clearly a process had run amok. But I have no access to processes, so I couldn't list them, let alone kill the responsible party.

After a few messages back and forth with tech support (through an annoying trouble-ticket system), I determined that the file that was growing so quickly was the error log. When I peeked at it, I found that it was the module from MT-Blacklist that was cycling, adding hundreds of lines per second to the log.

I deleted all the MT-Blacklist files, and then had the tech guy kill the process and delete the log. Once I was sure comments worked again, I went in and tried to reinstall MT-Blacklist, but I got errors about undefined arrays. I've got a query in to the host about whether they've changed somethign about the perl install on the new server. In the meantime, I'm keeping comments closed on posts more than 30 days old, and hoping not to get hit too badly with spam between now and when I can get things running again.

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Even my professor lawley and a fellow classmate, robert, is trying out (not to mention all my other friends) i say why not try? no need to make this as the only server of yours. what i can say from... Read More


Prof. Lawley,

You might already know about this...but there is a plugin ( that enforces the people to enter a security code displayed as an image before posting a comment.

another way to get rid of spam comments. this may be an alternative to MT-Blacklist.

Seeing messages like this makes me feel a bit of trepidation. My ISP is Earthlink. While otherwise fine, I have lost patience with this host's outdated version of Perl (which does not allow pinging nor, for that reason, support MT-Blacklist). Support keeps insisting they have plans to upgrade, but I no longer believe them. So I will have to migrate my site to a new ISP. Seeing news like yours makes me worry about what might go wrong in the process. Be afraid, ... be very afraid.

Regarding ISPs, I've been shopping around and found that you get what you pay for. (Sorry Fuyuko. I'm staying away from 1:1 because I've experienced bad things from providers that are too good to be true. Neotown went belly up one day with no advance notice and took my Web site with it.)

That being said, I'm am going through divorce proceedings with my current provider: some no-name company that's branded by Yahoo. Their specs are okay, but they get you in the reliability department.

And therein lies the lesson: anyone can promise specs at a low price (bandwidth, disk space et cetera), but what's the hidden cost? (Answer: probably too few people minding the store.)

Robert, funny you should mention 1&1. I'm giving them a test run right now, but not for my production sites--more as an option for recommending to students. I didn't realize Fuyuko was using them.

I'm seriously considering a move to Hosting Matters, which has better pricing than my current host, and solid recommendations from a number folks I respect technically.

No matter who you use, there are no guarantees. As long as you have control over your DNS information, however (and keep regular backups!) it doesn't take too long to move elsewhere even if they go down unexpectedly.

Frederick, when I've moved my site myself, I've always left some overlap time so I could be sure everything on the new site was up and runnign properly before I cut the DNS over. The problems I had this weekend were because WebIntellects relocated the servers to a new data center, and apparently they didn't move my data (or permissions) properly at first. They had tried this twice in December, and then stopped at the last minute--this time they did the switch, but on my server they apparently used the data from the aborted attempt in December, rather than from this week. That was compounded by db permission problems that kept me from uploading my backed-up data. In their defense, it was fixed within 24 hours, and everything (except mt-blklst, alas) is now working fine.

So be it. With testimonials from Fuyuko and now you about the potential of 1and1, I have signed up for their freebie. However, I felt compelled because their freebie promo only lasts another four days -- what the hell.

Still, I have yet to checkout Cornerhost, and now I've added Hosting Matters to the list as well. (Jeez! I spent less time picking out a wedding ring.)

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This page contains a single entry published on January 17, 2004 7:18 PM.

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