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running a server from home ?

N/A

running a server from home ?

The 512kb/s upload speed is the only downside of using an ADSL connection, SDSL is still way to expensive.
My site is fairly well optimised so page sizes are quite small, I also monitor the bandwidth in and out of my router and my average upoad speed never goes over 5kB/s although this doesn't take into account the peak in transfer data when a page is downloaded.
12 REPLIES
Marteknet
Grafter
Posts: 577
Registered: 13-10-2007

running a server from home ?

Due to the recent loss of the CGI server at Force9 (Farce9) and the resulting complete outage of ALL the domains I own, I am considering setting up a back up server on my own machine at home and in times of trouble at Force9 pointing the domains I own to the home server. Has anyone any idea just how much work this would involve and whether its possible to switch the pointing over at short notice to quickly have the internet access the back up server instead of the normal one at Force9.

Any advice at all would be very helpful.
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running a server from home ?

From my limited experience of this, and this is how i understand it but I may be COMPLETELY wrong Wink

You may be able to set additional domain name records with a lower priority. i.e. 'www.' will have a record with priority 0 that force9 has set up for you to point to their servers. You then add another record with priority 10 that points 'www.' to your static IP. If the priority 0 record points to an address which is down or unavailable, then it tries the lower priority address to see if that works ....

You then just need to set your router to forward port 80 to your machine that is hosting the server.

The machine that is hosting the server... well.. err.. i know people who host on linux (no idea what flavour!) and install apache (.org]), mysql (.com) and php (.net). Apache appears to have perl on its site too. After much setting up (google for that one Wink) you will have your own server, woohoo!

If you just require simple html then you can activate IIS on your winodws machine... Also not sure if there is a windows version of all the cool stuff, but there may be!

I know that doesnt tell you what to do but may give you an idea of which direction you need to go... hoping i have got at least some of that right Wink

Jarv
N/A

running a server from home ?

Martek,

The DNS will only be changed overnight (normally between 4 and 6 am)

as regards to hosting, are you talking windows? linux?

windows is quite quick and easy, but dont forget to secure it afterwards

Darren
Marteknet
Grafter
Posts: 577
Registered: 13-10-2007

running a server from home ?

I was thinking more on the lines of what Jarv said.

Setting additional domain name records with a lower priority so things switch automatically if the main server fails to return data.

The back up server could be linux or window and would need apache, mysql ,php with graphic libraries etc.

Basically I need a backup server that mirrors force9 htdocs and crofters servers that kicks in when the usual one fails.

I haven't a clue about this it's all new to me but I am sure if I forward plain this and ask about I will find others have some experience in this field, this will make its as painless as possible.

Thanks for your advice.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

running a server from home ?

You could try something along the lines of http://www.dyndns.org/ point your domain to them, they redirect it to the cgi server, if the cgi server goes down, you log in and change the settings to point the domain to your system till the cgi server goes back up
Marteknet
Grafter
Posts: 577
Registered: 13-10-2007

running a server from home ?

Ta for the info thats interesting i will take a look at that after reinstalling my sites.
N/A

running a server from home ?

I have been looking into doing a similar thing with my website.
I currently host my own site on my ADSL link, when this goes down (about once a week) my site goes down, the plan was to get a second ADSL connection and use it as a backup.
Unfortunately from what I have found out this isn't possible.
You can't set different priorities for DNS A records only MX (mail) records
You can set up multiple A records but the user will be sent to the 2 IP’s an even amount of time.

DyDNS are no different from force9, the only difference is that they provide a better service (they should do, all they do is DNS).

If I am wrong or there is a way around this please let me know, I have spent a long time researching this and getting no ware.
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running a server from home ?

Quote

DyDNS are no different from force9, the only difference is that they provide a better service (they should do, all they do is DNS).


No. DynDNS are very different if you think about it. They have the abilty to serve up a different IP address for a domain using dynamic records. F9 *could* do that but if asked wouldn't for obvious reasons.



Quote
If I am wrong or there is a way around this please let me know, I have spent a long time researching this and getting no ware.


there is no easy answer, and certainly not a cheap one. DNS cache is a necessary evil, and the link between a domain and in IP address resides in this place.

It's my understanding that DNS will allow secondary IPs for the site but in practice it's unreliable. Even if you could achive this, there's the database to consider. If you have a user sign up on one database, then a problem happens and your user gets diverted to another server, their details will be on the downed server and their login won't work. for example.

If you need a real time database online with full redundancy then get 20K out of you back pocket and hand it over to profesionals.This sort of redundancy, done properly is really complex and expensive.
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running a server from home ?

Quote
Even if you could achive this, there's the database to consider. If you have a user sign up on one database, then a problem happens and your user gets diverted to another server, their details will be on the downed server and their login won't work. for example.

This is the easy bit, It all depends on what you are creating redundancy for.
If you need redundancy in case the internet connection goes down (like me) then you can use the same database server and feed both internet connections to it.
If you need it because a server might go down then you can set up replication between 2 database servers, the website will automatically query the backup server if the main one goes down and get the same data.

Quote
It's my understanding that DNS will allow secondary IPs for the site but in practice it's unreliable

I am fairly certain I am right about this, you can have multiple A records pointing to different IP’s (crude load balancing) the DNS server will cycle between IP’s issuing it for each request in turn.
If one IP goes down then 50% of request won’t work, or 33% if you have 3 IP’s set up.

MX (mail server) records are the only record with priorities, the record with the lowest priority will be queried first, and if that doesn’t work it will query the next lowest records, and so on.
Why we can’t have this for A records I don’t know.


DyDNS are a very good company, I use them for various services; they do provide some sort of dynamic DNS for dynamic IP’s but beyond that the DNS is the same as force9.


How do other websites do this, do they just have a reliable connection that won’t go down?
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running a server from home ?

Quote
How do other websites do this, do they just have a reliable connection that won’t go down?


Up time on leased lines is very good, but you're still not protected from the fool in the JCB. :roll: If you have two BT will feed them out of opposite corners of the building, and try to take a different route to the exchange.

I think there's a better way of handling this at DNS level, I'll check over the weekend, but I'm still not sure how it works with cached entries at visitors ISPs :?

As with all redundancy solutions, you can spend the earth and still get caught out. Rackspace had a major outage last year that was actually caused by it's own backup power systems. Dabs fell foul of the fool in the JCB. When my GF worked at an ISP, some bloke dressed up a BT workman, opened a man hole and just started pulling wires out of the ground. The caught him and he was just a nutter :lol:

There's always something you didn't think of, or isn't practical or cost effective.
fraserc
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: 06-04-2007

Don't forget your upload bandwidth

Don't forget that, with ADSL, you're limited to 512kB/s upload (a technical limit - not F9). While this might be OK for simpe, text, pages it will be a right bummer for the viewer if you've got images, etc. on the page.

Assuming the DNS suggestions work I'd suggest you craft the alternative site to minimise the content, otherwise you'll probably lose a lot of viewers who'll give up waiting and go somewhere else.

If the site's commercially important and can't be simplified I suppose you'll just have to fork out for an alternative hosting service and a home page on each that redirects to the other if CGI is not available.
deepfatfrier
Grafter
Posts: 99
Registered: 26-09-2007

running a server from home ?

I personally have no experience with the DNS side of things, but I can say that I host an HTTP and FTP server on Linux (SimplyMEPIS - a desktop Linux variant) and that both seem to work fine. Assuming that the connection isn't doing much else, getting a page at 25-30 KB/s (on a 512k connection) won't be too much trouble. I've never managed to make a site go over 75KB for a main page load, so that's a whole 3 seconds Shocked lol.

As for the HTTP server, it's just a simple public directory basically, so I use thttpd (comes with Mepis, don't know a URL) instead of Apache. However, your site would definitely need Apache, which I have used with little problems on Windoze and Linux, although it takes a little setting up. Tongue

Good luck whatever you decide to do Smiley, I've chosen to do absolutely nothing with my F9 webspace as my host - for £30 a year - manage to do a better job of uptime (judging by the amount of complaints on these forums) than F9 do...

--Andy