Category Archives: Hosting

Two Consistent Internet Companies

Hollywood.com

From time to time, I receive a newsletter from Hollywood.com, in the last 13 years. I remember I subscribed its newsletter in the early days in 1996 – when Hotmail just started, and not bought by Microsoft. At that time, there are just few well known websites for me. I just started to try to use it, and often visit the following sites:

Harvard.edu, Whitehouse.gov, CERN and Hollywood.com – basically any famous name plus a .com or .gov.

13 years past. Most commercial websites was bought and disappeared, like Geocities, but Hollywood.com still persistently send newsletter to me. That is the main reason I didn’t unsubscribe from them, although I never really read about it in the last 13 years. It is just a memory of the very early stage of Internet.

Master.com

The other is master.com. I setup a service to monitor Wangjianshuo.com in 2002. If the site is not accessible, it will send an email to me. In the last 7 years, I never logged in again, but they still faithfully send alert to me – I received two or three alerts in the last few days when Media Temple experienced technical problems.

My Learning

Although these two companies are not significant in the Internet space, they survived in the last two crisis, and they keep delivering services to its customer. That was very rare in the Internet space. Who knows what Yahoo! look like in another 13 years? Is it still accessible?

P.S. One big thing the next week is to transfer my domain name Wangjianshuo.com out of WWW.NET.CN to godaddy.com. It is too risky to hosting domain in domestic company.

Bye Bye, GeoCities.com

Geocities.com is going to close two weeks from today. It is the end of an era. When you know something you were so crazy about, but not important any longer, is going to be shutdown, you know you are old enough. :-)

Imagine, what you feel after few years, if you know Google.com is going to be shutdown, or more likely Facebook.com, twitter.com, or other super popular websites today. Geocities.com was the Facebook.com in my university age.

Along with Geocities, the big guys at that time was Yahoo!, Hotmail, Tripod, AltaVista!

I tried to search for my geocities.com web page for 20 minutes, but could not find anything – even Google Search does not help. I only remember that in 1997, every user must choose a “neighborhood” to settle down. The neighborhood I choose was CollegePark, and my URL should be something like:

http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/xxxx

But I forget the number.

Another learning is, most of what you did on this earth, or especially online will vanish – your Geocities web pages, you Facebook content, your twitter message, and all the emails you send out – eventually, will go away.

Let it be. Bye Bye, Geocities!

P.S. I appreciate the consistency of newsletter from Hollywood.com. It was the first email newsletter I subscribed. 13 years later, they are still sending out emails, although I never really read it.

Received Gift from Media Temple

It seems to me that anything with the name or abbr. of MT is a very good thing. First, MovableType (MT), then Media Temple (MT).

I have been 7 year fan of MovableType, and I am still using it. Most importantly, I got the opportunity to meet with so many great people in Six Apart and setup a deep relationship with them eve since. Remember the big 5 year of blogging party at Six Apart office in San Francisco they held for me? I am so flattered to get the honor, and the legendary story of Mena and Ben is very inspirational for me.

Then, recently, as you know, I moved my hosting from bluehost.com to Media Temple (to be fair, bluehost.com is still a very good hosting company, despite the fact that they forced me to leave). The experience of the last few days was wonderful: fast server response, more functionality, very kind and helpful telephone support (they know their systems very well), and finally, I started to setup some personal connections with the company, not just a customer and a service provider.

Quickly after I posted about Media Temple, Danialla from Media Temple shot me an email and mentioned that she/he may send out some gift from Media Temple to me. So, one week later, I got my nice Fedex package yesterday, with a nice MT T-shirt, 4 stickers with all kinds of MT logos, and a badge-holder.

I quickly pull out some sticker and stick it to my keyboard.

It seems to me Media Temple is a good company. My 5 years in Microsoft services organization told me, any company in the service industry (I think hosting can also be in this area along with customer service center, or financial services) can easily make a customer extremely happy or extremely dissatisfied. Unlike out-of-box software or other product, customers just touches the product, in service industry, customers have the human interaction with the company, its service, and its people. This can be very emotional.

I hope I am a happy Media Temple customer in the next few years, and if possible, I may be very interested to visit the company if I have a chance to visit the LA area. The office of Six Apart has been my fixed scheduled place to visit for my trips to SFO, since I have great friends there to see. I hope so for Media Temple.

Hello! Hello! I am Back

If you are a daily reader of my blog and you are the traditional reader (not using a RSS reader, like Google Reader), you may noticed short outage of Wangjianshuo’s blog.

Sorry for that. As I explained in my previous post, bluehost kicked me out of their server room (due to performance issue of my blog), and I have to look for another host.

Although I am not happy about it, it forced me to take the chance to move everything I have to a new host provider, Media Temple. I am still at the sweet moon time with this new hosting, and everything here is wonderful. Please give me feedback about how it feels: the site getter faster, slower, or is there any outage in the next few weeks.

Whenever hosting issue happens, I just feel I am like a young person renting someone’s house. There are always reasons for me to move, no matter it is because of I cannot bear the environment, or the landlord feels I scratched his wall. Anyway, at any time, I just need to accept it, pack everything I have, use a transportation service to move all my boxes to another place, unpack all the box, and spend quite some time to set everything up (bookshelf, flower, and bed….)

Finally, I am back. I cannot bear the time without blogging. My dear readers, I am back! Wow!

Short Pause of Service of Bluehost

Bluehost is a pretty nice host provider. I am very happy with the service they provided. Although they generated many CPU Exceeded Errors for my account before, but I believe it is because of the low efficiency of my own script, not completely their fault. Actually, the ability to provide this threshold is a very good service to help keep others who share the same server with me from any problems the code causes. So, I am still happy about it.

However, to my greatest surprise, they disabled my account these days, and I have to contact the abuse department of bluehost to have my site restored. This may take some time since it happens on Saturday their time. Maybe I need to wait until their Monday to talk to someone. I just wrote an email to explain what happened.

Meanwhile, I just tried to transfer my files to my backup host, http://ipowerweb.com – pretty bad service, but a little bit better than nothing.

I am sorry that comment you post during these two days are not recorded, and have problems.

If you want me to compare ipower and bluehost, I think there is no any reason to use ipowerweb.

Hope my site gets back as soon as possible.

MediaTemple is Great!

Livid used Media Temple long time ago (two years ago I think), and when I try to find a new hosting company after bluehost, I started to think about MediaTemple.

The several hour of experience I had with MediaTemple was great. I once thought bluehost was the best, because it offered everything I need, but I just find out MediaTemple has everything bluehost had, and provided much more.

Even more surprising thing for me was, I made phone calls to MediaTemple to ask two questions. They answered the phone several rings later (as quick as bluehost), and the person who got my phone, Revon, knows exactly what I was talking about, and gave me the solution immediately. I even got an email like this after the conversation. This is completely out of my expectation. This is really great customer service, combined with really cool technology. I hope posting the email itself should be OK since it is a complement to MediaTemple, and I will be OK to pull it off, if for any reason MediaTemple don’t want their communication with customers being posted.

***********************************************
|  THIS IS A ONE-WAY EMAIL NOTICE ONLY.
|  PLEASE USE THE ACCOUNTCENTER TO RESPOND.
***********************************************
Jian Shuo,
Thank you for the phone call.  Here is a brief summary of our conversation:
Your call this morning was due to not being able to connect to myqsl via SSH. You also had a question on how to view your domain before propagation. To login to mysql while using SSH you will want to use this format.
mysql -u -h -p
During our phone conversation you realized you were missing the -h and that fixed your issue. With regard to viewing your domain prior to making a DNS change you will want to use your access domain. In using you access domain it will look like this
wangjianshuo.com.s60628.gridserver.com
I hope this helped you out and I’ll definitely answer any other questions you may have. Just let us know!
Best Regards,
Revon
Media Temple Customer Support
KnowledgeBase: http://kb.mediatemple.net
Statement of Support: http://mediatemple.net/support/statement/
User Forums: http://kb.mediatemple.net/questions/824/
<v> 877-578-4000
<f> 310-564-2007
—————————————————-
During the course of support you may respond or update this request in the AccountCenter at the following URL:
https://accountcenter.mediatemple.net/support/viewrequest.mt?id=513930
Please note, this email is a one-way notification that your support request has been updated. All communication with the support staff is handled directly online through the AccountCenter web interface. Should a new unrelated support issue occur during the progress of this request, please open a new separate request inside the AccountCenter.
—————————————————-

This package is 20 USD per month, three times of bluehost, but it surely provided the value.

Avoid Blog Blocked in China

How to setup a blog and not blocked by GFW in China? This is really a FAQ.

To setup a blog is relatively easy. Not to be blocked is not that easy. I hope this is a complete guide to bloggers inside or outside China.

How Block Works?

Regarding the issue of “block”, there are two camps of websites in the world – websites that is hosted outside China and inside China.

For blogs hosted inside China, they will never be “blocked”. Instead, it will be “shutdown”.

If you host your blog on a Blog Service Provider (BSP), and if there is some “sensitive” content on the BSP, the whole BSP site will be shutdown (an easy way to do it is just a phone call to call the data center and ask the administrator to directly unplug the network cable of the serers). In the history, most of the BSPs in China has been shutdown at least once (like blogbus).

If you are technical enough to host your blog on your own server, the situation is the same as BSP. They will be able to shutdown the site at any time.

Recently, my friends who helps to host other people’s blog was called by police to delete post from time to time…

Also, to setup your own site, you have to register and get an ICP (Internet Content Provider) license to run a blog.

So, in my personal opinion, do not host your site in China. There are millions of reasons people shut it down, and there is no way to argue about this. Also, the risk is to lose all your data. The most interesting thing is, everyone from telecom, to government, to legal system just pretend that this massive shutdown didn’t exist. The existence of this censorship itself is a secret.

Sites Hosted outside China

You can also host your blog outside China. There are also two ways to do it. 1) Host it with a BSP, like blogger.com, typepad.com. 2) Setup your own server.

The first is not practical method now. Why?

The major BSP was blocked. Here are two of them:

*.blogspot.com

typepad.com

Even photo sharing site flickr.com is not completely accessible.

For other BSP, in the future, it may also be blocked. The reason of the block is, there must be one or more blog on the BSP that talks about something the government doesn’t like, and then they block the whole BSP. Your blog will be a victim of the block.

You will have no control of what others write, and you cannot control what the Great Firewall does. So if you host in a BSP, you are not controlling your destiny.

So, my personal suggestion is, host your blog on your own server. Why?

You have much more control of your destiny, although not completely. Most of the hosting is shared hosting, that you put many sites (about 100 or more) on the same server. If any of the sites get blocked, the whole server is not accessible. In this case, just move to another hosting company.

This way, you are, at least, not a victim because other site is blocked.

Conclusion

My choice is host your site with your own top level domain (something.com) and host it on your own server (like bluehost.com or dreamhost.com). This requires more technical skills to do, but it is a good option for serious bloggers.

Setup a Blog like This?

Many people asked me how to setup the similiar blog like this under their own domain and asked for price to setup a blog, and asked how much effort it needs.

My most frequent answer was, go to blogger.com and setup a blog there. Then setup the blog to publish your own domain via FTP. Just share your FTP user name and password with blogger, and then it is under your own domain.

This way, you don’t need to pay any maintaince effort to your blog, and your blog is up and running, and under your domain.

Here are my 17 tips about blogging.

Suggestions to Choose Hosting Company

The question:

Hi, Jianshuo

I know you are an experienced website owner and your blog are very popular.

I am in trouble in choosing the proper website host service, and what’s your website provider service?

Could you recommend some web site host service offered by foreign countries with the high ratio of quality to price?

Thanks

Jason

It is a good question. It is hard to make recommendation, especially when no service is really good from the unreachable high expection from a hosting customer’s point of view. I just share my experience.

First Question: Host it in China or Outside

Both way work but you need to consider a lot of factors.

By default, people host in China. It is straight forward unless you have specific reasons not to do so.

Language and time-difference barrier are big for some people. If you host in China, you can call directly at working time, but to call someone in U.S., for example, the iPowerweb, you have to wait after mid-night.

Most people have difficulty to pay service outside China. International credit card is still not common. If you happen to have one, you can try. Many credit cards in China does not work so well on Internet. For example, I just got an email complaining that payment using CMB credit card (the same I am using) to iPowerweb was rejected. I had that experience for some times also. The manual work from the hosting company worked.

To pay services in China also have problems. For example, I have my domain wangjianshuo.com hosted in www.net.cn. The only working method for me is to go to post office and send money Beijing. There are some online banking systems, but none of them works for me. It either failed, or required me to go to the bank, sign the form, get a CD of the software (or at least a secret key), and install the software. Most times, the software does not work well. What a world! But we don’t need to get too angry. We cannot fly, but we don’t complain, right? Just kidding.

Risk of Being Banned

There is always risk to be shutdown, if someone or yourself post something bad (or regarded as bad thing to someone) to your site.

If you host your content in China, make sure you backup frequently, and you need to get an ICP. If there is no ICP, your site will simply be shutdown. There are many ways to shutdown the site. ISP with advanced technology will use software to disable the DNS. Most times, if you have your dedicated server, the operator just go to your server room and unplug the network cable. It worked as a charm. :-(

To host in U.S. is also not risk free. Although not many people will unplug the network cable, you can be banned by the great firewall. Sometimes, an ISP host hundreds of websites on one server, and if one of the site contains so-called not-so-good content, the IP will be banned, and your site may not be accessed in China. That is bad for a business running in China.

Also, in U.S, if someone post phishing content onto your site, the ISP may also delete the account and destory all the content you have according to the local law. It happened last month to this blog at ipowerweb. You also need to backup your stuff frequently. To host your content somewhere (in China or in U.S.), it means there is always someone who can destroy your disk and don’t have any liabitlity to you.

Providers

Here is my comment to the providers.

www.net.cn

I hosted my domain with them for 5 years. Their service is stable – due to the fact that DNS is the simplest application on Internet. They have been down for only once, and was recovered in 20 hours.

CompanCN

CompanyCN was the hosting company for http://home.wangjianshuo.com for one and half year. Their advantage is, their price is low – 380 RMB (I don’t know the current plan), and provide Windows server that have ASP, PHP, and Perl. It is not common to have these on one server. Their service is so-so, better than others, but from my expectation, they archived 2 out of 5.

iPowerweb

If nothing happens, ipowerweb.com is a wonderful solution. Their speed is good (even accessed from China), and their servers are stable. They didn’t restart the machine for 300+ days during my experience.

However, if something does happen, it is nightmare – worst than any hosting company in China. If you want to call them, they can tell you the estimated waiting time is 34 minutes at ease. The conclusion is, I hate ipowerweb when something goes wrong and love it when it is OK.

Lunarpages

I just transferred to lunarpages. It seems better than ipowerweb.com. The reason I didn’t choose it (it is the largest one in Hosting in U.S. now) was, they don’t allow MovableType before.

Disclaimer

Hosting business is a business to create frustrated customer everyday. People take it for granted that servers need to be as stable as a wooden table. If it is 100% up, people don’t appreciate it as much as people complain when it only archive 99% up time. For me, I won’t say anything good to an ISP who shutdown my site for continuous 10 days. What I mean is, I just want to be fair.

Professional Web Hosting

It is prooven that professional web hosting like iPowerWeb is really better than the hosting environment at my home :-D and better than my previous hosting company. I was suffering for server down [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] at the begining of 2004. Then I migrated the server to professional web hosting service. The cost doubled but the result is better than tripled. I checked the availiablity report today and the result is not bad:

screen-home.wangjianshuo.com-uptime.png

© netcraft.net

From the table, we can clearly see since April 2005, my server was not restarted so the uptime continued to grow. Before the migration, the uptime was in a mass, as shown in the number – the 90 day average never reached 15 days. :-(

Bandwidth Crisis – Part Two

This is the second time I claimed the bandwidth crisis (the last one). This time, it is more urgent and more severe.

The Data

The problem to be a successful blog related to high traffic is the bandwidth issue. Here is the data:

screen-site.traffic-2004.png

Data source: ipowerweb.com traffice report

The data indicates this site is serving 16,1797 visitors in December 2004, and transfered 51.53 gigabyte of data the same month. There is a huge jump in the number in the first 6 days of 2005. 17G of data has been transmitted till now. I got the warning from ISP that the bandwith for this month will run out in the middle of this month.

The Solution

URL redirect is my solution to this problem. Since Tim Berners Lee educated us that Cool URIs Never changes. I strongly believe a good website citizen needs to keep the URL of the published content unchanged. So I won’t consider move any part of the existing content on my website to another location.

I used the URL Rewrite Engine in my host computer. It works this way:

The URL for the picture has been “hard coded” in each of the blog entry. For example, this picture http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/2002/11/11/tokyo-islands-in.the.sea.jpg in this entry: http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20021111_flying_over_the_pacific.htm seems to resides on the server home.wangjianshuo.com. Actually, it is not. I used the following rewrite rule:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteRule (archives/200[1234]/.*\.jpg) http://blog.wangjianshuo.com/$1 [R]

RewriteRule (photo/.*.jpg$) http://bbs.wangjianshuo.com/$1 [NC,R]

This rule indicates, whenever a client request a file that resides in archives/2001, archives/2002, archives/2003, archives/2004 folders with a .jpg extension, the server tell it not to bother to ask it from my server http://home.wangjianshuo.com; get it from blog.wangjianshuo.com, a server without any bandwidth limit instead. So I keep the content of each entry unchanged. Meanwhile, I kept a replica of the archive folder on the new server. I can change this location at any time. For /photo, it is the same.

I hope this is helpful for others who face the same situation. (Congratulations if you also worry about this issue).

Donation?

Eric offered to donate to help me overcome this problem. I appreciate it but it is not neccessary. It is far more expensive to add bandwidth to the existing package than buying a completely new one. I have choosen the URL Redirect solution. The Google advertisement on my site has covered all the hosting cost already.

Reserve Every Byte

This site is experiencing the worst bandwidth crisis after move to iPowerWeb. Today, as the 23rd day of Oct, I always used up 92% of the 40G bandwidth. With the current speed, the bandwidth will be used up around Oct 25, 2004. I don’t know what will happen after that time. Maybe iPowerweb will give me some allowrance to transfer more or you will see “Server Bandwidth Used up Sign”. So be prepared to see the five days absent. page. If it is the case, the site will resume after November 1, 2004.

Save Every Bytes

To save every bytes on this server, I have temporily closed the /photo/ section of this site and redirected all the image requests to another site using the .htaccess mod_rewrite. Here is the code:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteRule (archives/200[123]/.*\.jpg) http://blog.wangjianshuo.com/$1 [R]

RewriteRule (photo/.*) http://blog.wangjianshuo.com/$1 [R]

I don’t want to ask my reader to visit less frequent to save bandwidth. I just want to announce it first so everybody knows what happens if the bandwidth does be used up.

Next Steps

Since Cool URLs Never Change,, I will try to move the big files (like images) to another server while keeping all the URLs unchanged. The server allows me to do that.

Band Width Crisis

I am experiencing bandwidth crisis. The 80G of bandwidth included in the IPowerWeb package is approaching to its limit. See the traffic increase in my previous months.

screen-bandwidth-12month.png

Image in courtesy of IpowerWeb

The bandwidth of this site for each month keeps increasing. I am not clear why my site was shut down even when my last month bandwidth 51G appears to be bigger than the limitation of 40G. According to the report, much more than 50% (23G) of bandwidth has been used.

My site is experiencing bandwidth crisis!

If this problem is not fixed, my site may turn out to be a blank page with a note like “The site has been shutdown due to exceeding its bandwidth limit.

My Solution

After reviewing the web, I found the most bandwidth assumption are pictures since I don’t have file download. The pictures are mainly distributed to three locations:

It appears to me by removing the pictures of maps to a new location is most effective way to reduce the bandwidth consumption. I did. I moved the files to bbs.wangjianshuo.com which is on another server with separate calculation of the 40GB.

When this does not help in the following months, I will also consider to move Photo even pictures in individual blog entries. If I only store pure HTML or Text file on this server, I can handle the huge demand everyday.

Cool URIs don’t change

Tim told us Cool URIs don’t change. It is true. So I made the commitment that I will try to keep my link work and don’t change any URI I published.

So, if I want to put a file to another server, instead of changing the URL and all content referring to it, I will REDIRECT to keep the original URL. Here the steps of what I am going to do.

Redirect

Aparch has a great feature – I guess in IIS we should add this – to use plain text file to control how the server handle URI. I will turn the RewriteEngine on and redirect all request to http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/2002, http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/2003 to http://bbs.wangjianshuo.com/archives/2002 and http://bbs.wangjianshuo.com/archives/2003. So the files are actually transferred from the new server while still keep the original URL. This document helps.

I will do the redirect later.

P.S. This entry was created at night of Oct 17. I put it on Oct 14 since i didn’t created an entry that day so I make it up by putting an entry that is not time sensitive. Don’t get surprised if you see it and start to wonder why you “missed” it.

Speed Improvement after Switching Server

I am happy that ionic breeze told me the loading speed of this site had improved. This is the first comment I received so far regarding the speed of this site.

I also want to let you know that I visited the sanya articles before and after you changed your webhost to ipowerweb. The loading speed had improved tremendously. This is especially true when the article has extensive pictures such as the sanya, and daocheng scenary. Before the ipowerweb, I used to hit the stop button on my browser because it took too long to load the pictures.

Just to let you know that you have switched to a very fast host company and now we can enjoy lots of good pictures from you and your friends. Bravo!

Actually, I didn’t notice the change at all. The old host seemed very fast for me too, but it may not for people outside China. The old host is at Shanghai Telecom Datacenter and the new one should be in somewhere in U.S.

Thanks for the feedback. I am happy to hear from you about anything about this site.

Support Experience of iPowerWeb

This is a series of article on the customer support I got from iPowerWeb during my migration of data from my old host provider to iPowerWeb. I am somewhat satisified with the online support service I got from the support team. Due to the fact that I was also in the PSS (product support services) or response center (something like call center) business, it provided very good chance for me to analysis the support I got. It brings a much clearer way for me since it provides me a view purely from the customer’s perspective. Note: the message is ordered so the latest comment goes first.

Since I have to disclose the email communication between me (as a customer) and the support professional, I sent a query to support@ipowerweb.com to get confirmation that I CAN disclose the content. The result was negative. Their legal department didn’t allow me to disclose the communication between the support professional and I on my site. I respect their decision and won’t publish the emails I received. I have already prepared an article before I check with their legal department. So I removed anything I got from iPowerWeb and only leave the rest.

Response (Content removed) 04/09/2004 04:38 PM

Content removed

Response (Content removed) 04/08/2004 07:15 PM

Content removed

Another 24 hours passed. The result is, they finally find out a system administrator is not suitable to answer this simple question. A tier 2 support professional is better. :-D

But, Hey, now, 72 hours have passed and what will the customer think of the service? They cannot expect a Very Satisfied customer after the simple question pending there for 72 hours.

Customer (Jian Shuo Wang) 04/07/2004 06:11 PM

Any update on this?

This is uncool for me. There is no response in the next 48 hours. What is the result? What are the support professionals doing? The case was left alone there for 48 hours without any touch. Although I can understand – after working in a support center – that the huge number of cases may delay the response, but from the customer’s perspective, I started to wonder whether all the engineers are sleeping at work.

Response (Content removed) 04/05/2004 06:58 PM

Dear Client

Thank you for contacting iPowerweb technical support.

Content removed

This is very good for me that I got the initial response 38 minutes after I sent the support incident. This is a very important factor in customer satisfaction. The sooner, the better. Although they didn’t provide an answer, at least the customer know the incident is received and taken care of.

Customer (Jian Shuo Wang) 04/05/2004 06:20 PM

Is there any policy that preventing me from publishing the email

conversation between me and iPowerWeb support team? I am interested to share

the support email I got.

Regards

Jian Shuo Wang

Actually, there is no result in the next 48 hours….

Byebye CompanyCN

I have said bye-bye to CompanyCN, the host provider for home.wangjianshuo.com in the last one and half years. I’d like to thank the company for providing services to this site, although I have to leave due to the stability of the service. I left as a very fastrated and dissatisfied customer.

Sorry for the recent server problems. I know in the recent few days, the sites cannot be accessed, or the comment system is not work (which is worse since it may cause the lose of your effort). Look at the service availability of the last few days.

graph-home.wangjianshuo.com-down.gif

Report from master.com, watchdog service for home.wangjianshuo.com

It is sad that I have to move right now. According to the reviews and recommendations from the readers of this site, the new host provider IPOWERWEB’s availability should be garrentteed. I hope you also enjoy a reliable website as I do.

The new site is up and running, but the domain resolution is still under way. It will be ready very soon, so you can see this post.

Sorry for Server Outage

There are some problems with the comment system and the MovableType publishing system in the recent two days. I called CompanyCN, the hosting company I chosed and they told me a site on the same server with mine upgraded their database scripts and is using up all the system resources. So my poor web is impacted, as all other sites.

I signed up ipowerweb. I hope I can switch to the new server very soon. I feel very bad for this incident that many visitors may have spent a lot of time to write comments on this site but it was lost during the error.

Server Down and Up

I hate to talk about it but I have to update about the technical difficulties in the last two days. The server was not accessible at around 0:00 AM of Feb 22. It lasted for about half day. Around 2:00 PM that day, the HTML page was recovered but the comment function stoped working. It took another day to fix the permission stuff. There is still something not working on my site right now, like the Links 2.0 directory (site submission part), I am going to fix it tomorrow.

This was due to the IP change – actually the server change in my ISP. Every time it happens, I got very angry and there is no 24×7 support. That is the service I paid for – 380 RMB per year is among the cheapest hosting in China. I have subscribed at http://www.net.cn, which costs almost double the cost of this ISP. I hope it can provide better service – at least they offer 24×7 toll free technical support. So someone will look at the problems of the server if it does go down.

I hope the server down nightmare goes off soon. It has hurt the reputation of the site. This site is no longer the site it was two years ago. I know I have a lot of readers everday. Thanks for your patience during the last two days.

Server IP Address Change

I got a short notice from my ISP (CompanyCN.com) that the server has to change its IP address and I will update my DNS record (hosted at www.net.cn) to the new IP address. Since these two actions may not be synchronized, a short period of service pause from this site may occure in the next few days. Sorry for that. (I hope they don’t lose any comments posted here.)

History of My Server Hosting

Here is the server change history of my server, according to netcraft.net

OS Server Last changed IP address Netblock Owner

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 24-Jun-2003 210.15.187.12 Jitong Shanghai communications Co.,Ltd

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 30-Jan-2003 210.78.22.54 JiTong Communication Co.,Ltd

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 12-Nov-2002 202.101.10.123 Shanghai Telecom Co. Qingpu Telecom Breaure

Windows 2000 unknown 11-Nov-2002 202.101.10.123 Shanghai Telecom Co. Qingpu Telecom Breaure

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 11-Oct-2002 202.101.10.123 Shanghai Telecom Co. Qingpu Telecom Breaure

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 9-Oct-2002 202.101.10.123 Shanghai Telecom Co. Qingpu Telecom Breaure

unknown Microsoft-IIS/5.0 8-Oct-2002 202.101.10.123 Shanghai Telecom Co. Qingpu Telecom Breaure

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 26-Sep-2002 202.101.10.123 Shanghai Telecom Co. Qingpu Telecom Breaure

Windows XP Microsoft-IIS/5.1 19-Sep-2002 211.161.107.18 FOR GWBN SHANGHAI # 145 RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY BROADBAND NETWORK USERS’ BROADBAND ACCESS

The last record of the table above shows the short history when the blogging site was hosted on Windows XP on my home. I wrote an article: MovableType Successfully Installed on Windows XP as my first article. Then, I wrote: Server Outage – My Home is Still Not a Perfect Datacenter when there is a server outage from Sept 24 to Sept 26. I was in Chendu at that time, and there is no way for me fix the problem on my server in my home, since the Greatwall Broadband dropped the old IP address and I don’t knw the new one.

So I rushed to Internet and picked any hosting company that supports Perl. CompanyCN was the choice. It was not a bad, although not a perfect choice. The picture below shows the availability of the service.

screen-average-home.wangjianshuo.com.png

Image in courtesy of Netcraft.net

In coutrast is the service from Hotsales.net. I hosted my wangjianshuo.com and www.wangjianshuo.com there.

screen-average-wangjianshuo.com.png

Image in courtesy of Netcraft.net

Their number is better.

I have to say, to be fair, that the server hotsales provides are static HTML service. There may not be any application like ASP, Perl, PHP on the server. It is hundreds of times easier to make it stable. Disclaimer: I was the co-founder of Hotsales.net when I was in university. Now it is the largest domain name, hosting and real name provider in Shanghai with 200+ employees. Xiao Guang did wonderful job to turn a dream into reality. You have been warned that my comment regarding Hotsales tends to be favorable to it.

Below is the IP address history of wangjianshuo.com according to the record of netcraft.net:

OS, Web Server and Hosting History for wangjianshuo.com

OS Server Last changed IP address Netblock Owner

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 5-Aug-2003 61.172.241.197 CHINANET Shanghai province network

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 27-Nov-2001 61.151.249.186 CHINANET Shanghai province network

Windows 2000 unknown 26-Nov-2001 61.151.249.186 CHINANET Shanghai province network

Windows 2000 Microsoft-IIS/5.0 21-Nov-2001 61.151.249.186 CHINANET Shanghai province network

Linux Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) (Red Hat/Linux) 18-Sep-2001 61.129.65.72 CHINANET Shanghai province network

Linux Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) (Red Hat/Linux) 23-Nov-2000 202.96.235.211 Shanghai East Asian Videotex Information Co.

Server Down Again

I believe I am one of the most frustrated persons in the world now. The server goes down frequently. That is the reason you cannot visit the server in the last few days.

screen-server.down-20030624.PNG

Server down time

I hope I can find a better place to host my site soon. The ISP I am using is CompanyCN.com

Sorry for the inconvinience this brought to you.