SLES 12 Service Pack upgrades on Azure

I’ve been bitten multiple times with the SLES service pack upgrade routine – with Red Carpet Enterprise (ouch – that’s a long time ago) and all of the various permutations of update tooling since.

Happy to say that SLES 12 SP1 to SLES 12 SP3 was zero fuss, fast and efficient. Less than five minutes per server on Azure and around 30 seconds of planned outage.

Good job SUSE team!

Office 365 and postfix – revisited

Since I wrote this post (a long, long time ago) – Office 365 now adds support for creating a trusted connector between your Linux/postfix environment and Office 365.

Much, much easier than before.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/How-to-set-up-a-multifunction-device-or-application-to-send-email-using-Office-365-69f58e99-c550-4274-ad18-c805d654b4c4

So as a reminder for me next time:

  • certificate
  • SASL for username/password
  • Postfix main.cf settings
  • Set up Office 365 connector and trusted IP end point

Raspberry Pi

Finally it arrived. Unboxed; find all of the bits needed (Micro USB power supply, USB keyboard, 2GB SD card); download the beta bits; boot and it worked.

WP_000199WP_000200WP_000201

I’ve not done anything beyond this – just checking the darn thing worked.

Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate

The process and change control for the build/rebuild is pretty straight-forward now.

Updated the main archive server from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate. Looks great – some nice features – and it seems to be faster than the previous version.

Also this blog is hosted as a SUSE Linux web server running on top of Hyper-V on top of Windows Server 2012 RC. Performance is solid. No issues to date.

.. the more things stay the same

Back to self hosting.

83541_server_networking_4

The blog has moved from home, to hosting at GoDaddy and up to Azure.

All had advantages – all had downsides. It’s the private cloud/public cloud conversation in a nutshell.

Ultimately GoDaddy performance let it down – especially for the database – was unacceptable. Their support was also pretty poor. As always “you get what you pay for” – but the bottlenecks for even simple, near static, WordPress sites were unacceptable.

Azure has a lot going for it – I am still keeping my eye on future features that are currently in beta. Performance was incredible; the process of getting apps updated was a little too cumbersome for me.

Self hosting really requires me to get dirty with the infrastructure and tuning – but the fact that I can lets me drive the performance. I’m also responsible for everything below the app – hardware, storage, network, connectivity, OS, security etc etc.

Picking up the blogging again

Firstly – it’s been too long without posting here. Lots of reasons, lots of excuses – mainly workload and not having anything public to blog about.

Secondly – I’ve changes roles inside Microsoft – moving from Business Development (where nothing is public or bloggable) and into customer facing enterprise strategy.

The role is a great fit – and it takes me back to what I love – working and interacting directly with customers.

I’ll write more about the role and the experience in the next few days.

Uploading mysql dumps to GoDaddy

Strictly a console guy – I’ve been struggling to get the big blog database dumps up to the new hosting. phpMyAdmin claims to support zipped dumps – but that doesn’t work. There are also timeouts in the console for the upload and import.

I finally fixed it by using scp to move the non-compressed dump to the hosting server; and then using the Hosting Control Center to restore the dump as if it was a backup.

It’s running right now – so hopefully I’ll have happy blogs again soon.

WordPress filesystem abstraction – and automatic updates

Way back in the not-so-distant past the only way to update WordPress was to download (wget/ftp) updates, plugins and themes, unpack them and perform the update/install.

It is possible to pull the latest builds from subversion – but that’s really focused on the core hacker.

New in WP 2.7 was the ability to update automatically.

There were a few challenges with this – permissions, PHP modules, various host implementations – but I found it generally quite successful.

I found a great FAQ here – http://dd32.id.au/2009/02/20/wordpress-filesystem-abstraction-faq/

From the same author is a very cool plugin – core-control – it lets you enable and disable various transports – and shows the status of them.