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When your network takes a crap, and takes your email with it.

At some point during the night last night, and rather inconveniently after Jessica and I had run off to bed and so I couldn’t immediately determine that it was a network issue, this blog, a rarely updated–and, in fact, rather neglected for a couple weeks–political blog, and our email among other things, decided to take a rather gigantic crap on our front lawn. The first ever self-hosted version of the blog–link’s over there in the right sidebar–was started on this network, hosted by DreamHost, in January of 2006. Since then, I’ve always had something going over here. If not a blog, then some little utility or web app I was playing around with just because I can. Or a forum I was testing for one of the RP projects I’m either involved in or dedicating resources to. So I’ve been with them a while.

In that time, I think I’ve only ever really personally encountered… maybe 4 major, “OMG I can’t access a thing” type failures. It may, in fact, even be less than 4. So when I woke up to a screen full of “can’t connect” messages (thanks, Outlook), I was more than a little bit surprised–albeit temporarily. And, admittedly, more than a little bit frustrated–emails I should have received overnight hadn’t actually hit my mailbox yet. Once I managed to get my end of the cleanup out of the way, though, I started looking into something I hadn’t really looked at since, well, the last time DreamHost’s network went and crapped out.

I’ve been eyeing on and off, usually while the blog etc is offline, the idea of moving most if not all of my various outlets fully away from a managed environment. I’ve been running the DH VPS for a few months now, plus I’ve been running two of my own, unmanaged VPS’s for a couple years. Mostly, it’s been a sort of learning environment for me–see how many different ways I can break the system, then reinstall it, and start all over again. And yet, every time something like this happens, I always toss around the idea for a few days of actually expanding my knowledge overall of the Linux environment, and at the same time put into development my own email, and possibly web, solution–one independant from any particular web host. But I never actually get around to doing that.

I’ve done much of the actual research already–the most likely candidate for when I actually decide to take that leap will probably end up being one that centers around Postfix and MySQL, now I just need to find the energy, motivation, and maybe get frustrated enough with my current setup that I finally just say screw it and go with it. It’s probably gonna suck, but at least then I’ll be able to actually figure out for myself what’s up and died on me. Meanwhile, hey, DH, can we get a more stable network please? I really don’t like being forced into considering enduring the necessary brain damage to actually set something like that up. At least not at such a young age.

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