Servers and whatnot.

Well, if you have absolutely no interest in listening to me prattle on about servers, you can go right ahead and skip this post. :-)

I had planned on doing some upgrades to my servers this past weekend. Obviously, with the storm coming through, that didn’t happen… which is a bit irritating. A couple of weeks ago, Slackware Linux 10.2 was released, and I was planning on upgrading my two main servers up to it. I can’t do it this weekend, though… Fight Night is on Monday, and I can’t risk a botched upgrade keeping me offline until then. I’ll probably do the upgrade a week from Saturday; fortunately all of the user data (including mailboxes) is kept on a separate hard drive from the operating system itself. It’ll just be a bit of a pain to get all of my server software recompiled and operational.

On the other hand, we did manage to make the “datacenter” area of the house look a lot nicer a week ago last Sunday. While I was at Fry’s the previous day, I managed to get my hands on a four-port KVM switch with cables that was on sale for $35. So, we ended up moving my test server out of another room, and putting it with the two main servers. We also cleaned up all the cables, got them organized and tied down, and now the setup looks a lot neater. The only disadvantage that we found was that having three servers on that APC BackUPS Pro 350 doesn’t exactly work. I had managed to trip a breaker while reheating pizza in my room’s microwave, and the UPS didn’t even last a minute before giving out. I’ll probably have to pick up a BackUPS Pro 1000 or something over the next week or two. For now, though, the test server is just plugged into a surge suppressor; it doesn’t need to be on 24/7. Oh, well.

I had a bit of fun with servers last night, too. With the release of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, the Mortal Kombat Online server was seriously dragging under the weight of the extra traffic. I ended up doing some research on fine-tuning the Apache (webserver) and MySQL (database) installs, and after taking a look at the configuration settings on both, I came to a rather nasty revelation. Apparently, as part of my desperate and frantic efforts to get the server working during the first days of the botched V.7 upgrade, I had made some serious screwups with the Apache installs. For example, the system was generating more spare processes than maximum allowed client connections. In other words, the system had a LOT of spare Apache processes running that would never be used. I ended up scaling that back and making it a lot more sane. I also tweaked some of the cache settings for MySQL. The end result was that the MK Online site started being a LOT more responsive. We’ll see if this keeps up, but if it does, it’s certainly a weight off our own shoulders. One of the problems with running site software developed in-house is that if stuff goes wrong, it’s up to you to figure out how to fix it.

Anyway, enough of this… I need to go check on a few things here at the office. Fun…