The foundation of successful development

Friday, June 02, 2006

VMWare and prebuilt Linux appliances can save your aspercreme

I had gotten off on a mandatory side tangent the past two days due to an emergency fix, or should I say workaround that called my attention. I have a site that is hosted by and it currently gets about 12,000 hits a day. This site is hosted on one of their shared hosting plans and is written in ASP using MySQL. They called me and left a voice mail stating they had to shut off access to my MySQL database due to over CPU utilization. Granted I was getting up there on the number of inserts and selects per minute (about 10), but still not what I thought would be nearly enough for them to complain since I've written enterprise apps on many database platforms in the past that handled MUCH more data than this...I won't go on that rant now;) Anyhow, they ended up telling me they would not turn access to the MySQL database back on, but did give me temporary access to grab one last copy of the database. I wanted to reduce my down time as much as possible, so I needed a place to temporarily host the MySQL database. Since I've been working in the environment now I turned to the rPath web site and immediately downloaded their VMWare build of a LAMP package (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP..Perl). In no time I was up and running with a secluded MySQL host on one of my home machines and installed phpMyAdmin (conary update phpMyAdmin) to have some type of gui to more easily work with my data.

I had started out on one of GoDaddy's free hosting accounts, which forced me into using ASP 1.x and MySQL since this was all I was offered on the free account. I have since upgraded to a paid account and have the option of ASP with .NET 2.0 and MS SQL databases that have been calling me to upgrade my application. Now, I was pretty much forced into making the change so I rewrote the ASP portions from VB into C# using .NET 2.0 and exported the MySQL database to use MS SQL with stored procs. I know there are people out there who are going to say MySQL could beat MS SQL any day...and with the proper setup and tweaking I think all DB platforms can compete so please no flaming;)

So long story short, I was impressed with the speed that I was able to get back up and running, and mostly thanks to the quick install using VMWare and the rPath LAMP distro. In about 15 minutes I had a copy of my database up and running. All of this in a portable environment too.

Well, now back to getting a release of DevInfraNix out to the public.


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