Not really how I wanted to upgrade…

Some (but not many) people are probably wondering why it took me so long to put the blog post up announcing our marriage. The answer is that, well… it wasn’t exactly by choice.

A couple of days after we arrived in the Bahamas, I noticed that I wasn’t receiving email from my main server. A quick check showed that the web services weren’t responding and that the server itself wasn’t responding to pings. I wasn’t too worried; I just figured the system suffered a kernel panic (the Linux equivalent of a BSOD) and needed to be rebooted. I sent an email to the pet sitter asking him to hit the reset button on the server, and left it at that.

A day or so later, he emailed back saying he had done so. I checked, and it was still down. I still wasn’t too concerned, as I figured he probably hit the wrong button. I ended up asking Jennifer’s mom to power cycle the box. After the now-in-laws returned home, I got an email saying she had done so. I checked the server, and I still got nothing. Now I began to worry, thinking a hard drive might have failed.

When we got home, one of the first things I did was check on the server. It was worse than I thought: the system wouldn’t even bring up video. I sighed, and decided to check to see if I had a replacement motherboard. I did, but it was in an old case and wouldn’t come out.

I think it was about at that point that I decided “frak this” and started checking Newegg to see how much a new server would cost. To my surprise, there was an HP Proliant server that fit my needs that only cost $450. I talked to my dad, and he bought it for me with next day delivery (as I host his business email as well, and have done so for years).

We ended up learning a life lesson. When Newegg says “next day delivery”, they mean “delivery the day after the order is processed”. Until now, all of my orders had been processed within two hours. This time, it took two DAYS to process. The end result was that the box arrived on Wednesday instead of Monday. Dad was unhappy, even after Newegg graciously refunded the shipping costs.

As soon as the server arrived, I added a second hard drive (to hold backups), added the users and groups, installed the backup software, and copied the backup archives to the server. Thankfully, the backups restored with no problems. After that I got mail up and running (and was promptly buried under an avalanche of two weeks of undelivered email). Once email was up, I could get everything else up and running.

The new server is pretty nice, too. It’s a lot faster than the old box was (as the old one was using 10 year old hardware), has a smaller case, and it’s far more quiet. The only disadvantage is that I don’t have it set up for RAID, but I don’t need it just yet. Besides, the RAID on the old server caused me issues when I was trying to read the drives from my Windows PC for recovery purposes. :-)

Ah, well. The server, barring some last minor problems, is completely up and running. I’m just thankful the restore (once started) went as quickly as it did, and that the friends who do secondary MX for me were so willing to accommodate having two weeks worth of queued mail on their servers. :-)