I have mentioned before I think…I host this blog on a machine in my office. There is no real reason why I do that, other than to say that I do. In reality, it would be smarter, cheaper and safer to host it like most people do…on a server somewhere out there in the cloud on a machine that other people manage. I am not too smart though so I am going the stupid, more expensive, dangerous route.
So, let’s assume for my vanity’s sake that anyone on the planet noticed that my blog has been sort of “up and down” the past few weeks. It turns out that one of the hard drives in my web server machine was failing. Some mornings, I showed up to work to find that the server had crashed. At first I though there was some sort of magical power flicker or battery back-up hiccup. Finally, after weeks of ignoring the death screen that presented itself after each crash, I took the time to read the error which clearly said the hard-drive was dying.
Luckily, I have a process where I take a snap-shot or image of the server periodically. It’s a somewhat fancy way of taking a backup that can be used to quickly restore a dead server’s data to a new machine. I finally bit the bullet and got a new machine. With the image I had created, I was able to create a virtual machine of the image…all that means is that I could basically make one machine run a sort of virtual copy of the other machine. It’s as if the original dying machine still existed but is now running on a new machine. The cool part is that if this new machine dies, I just have to copy the virtual machine to a new machine and start it all up. From now on, I can literally lose my server and be back in business 10 minutes after I power on a new machine.
Of course, the new machine failed this weekend too. This was my fault though. When you set up a new machine, the default setting is to let Windows Updates run automatically. That’s the safe and recommended thing for most machines/people. It’s a drag for things like my web server though. Lots of updates installed and my machine rebooted. Of course, the virtual machine that runs was not set to start up automatically so while my host machine came back up, the virtual machine that runs on the host and that powers my blog did not. So…I was down again all weekend…hopefully all of that is fixed now and we should be back in business…gee whiz…