Keep a second web server around for luck...
12 February 2008
I had one of those mid-day “what’s going on with my server” heart-atacks. I have a service that emails me when reviewsby.us is down. On my old server if it went down, I could just restart the server and it’d be back up. That was big old apache, running out of memory or something.
Reviewsby.us is a medium sized site. It gets a fair amount of traffic at a steady pace. Even in this case I decided I was in need for a new server, so I looked into nginx. It’s fast and it can serve static content well and pass things to fastcgi. Joshua Schachter explains the proxy in front concept pretty well.
Back to my web developer heart attack…
Well this setup had been holding up for a better part of a month fairly well… then I saw that a lot of the pages just lagged. I restarted fastcgi and nginx (it was a fastcgi issue). Rather than try to debug something I couldn’t, I quickly installed apache2 and setup the server the tried and tested way.
This all took place in a half an hour. Not the end of the world, but not elegant either. In the future, I’ll revert to using nginx (possibly nginx+apache versus nginx+fastcgi) but I’ll keep my other configurations around when all hell breaks loose.
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