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Entries tagged xen-hosting

We're all to blame

22 July 2007 21:50

Jose Carlos Garcia Sogo: Whilst breasts are everywhere I find it highly inappropriate for people to link to videos of them on Planet Debian.

I'd comment to that effect upon your post but I'm getting a 500 error from your server.

In other news Joey Hess reminded me this evening that it is pretty much the 1 year anniversary of my Xen Hosting setup.

In the next few days, once I've checked dates and looked to see if we can upgrade, etc, I'll be requesting payment from those people who wish to continue.

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You better stop the things you do

1 August 2007 21:50

A year ago I setup a xen hosting platform, because I was selfish and wanted a lot more resources than I could otherwise buy within my budget.

At that time I managed to setup a system which gave 7 users 256Mb of memory, 10Gb of disk space and 3 IP addresses all for £11.50 a month, or £138 a year.

On the first anniversary I've managed to increase those resources such that our users can now have:

  • 40Gb of disk space (x4!)
  • 512Mb of memory (x2!)

All for the same price.

One user decided to buy two accounts upon the machine, so that he could have a combined 512mb+20Gb account, and as the resources have increased this year this is no longer required - so we have a space free for one more user.

Last year several people asked for accounts and I had to reject them - I don't want to be a hosting company I just want to have enough users to fill a machine so that I can be selfish and get a higher spec for myself!

So if anybody who asked last year is still looking for cheap hosting there will be one space at the given spec and price available from this coming Friday / Saturday. (Unfortunately I must insist upon a years payment in advance.)

Uptime last year was good I can recall two reboots with minimal notice, which is reasonable enough I think. You'll get as much support as I can offer, my mobile number, and a clean install of any Debian derived distribution.

(The xen-shell package was developed for this service last year, and allows you to reboot your machine remotely, manage reverse DNS, and connect to the serial console if you break your networking. You'll be able to use that over SSH.)

Please comment if you're interested - If there are more people interested I guess I'll work though the list in order of comments until somebody commits to paying.. Questions welcome,.

TODO: Update website, get great testimonials about my "service" ;)

Update: Space gone.

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Now some men like the fishing

3 August 2007 21:50

Xen Migration

This afternoon I mostly migrated Xen guests from their old host to their new. (As part of a an upgrade of facilities. Upgrading in place would have been much fiddlier and more annoying!)

The migration took almost three hours, which was longer than anticipated but shorter than I'd feared. In the future I'll know to do it differently, but I managed to script it fairly well after the first couple were done manually.

Everything appears to be working correctly so I will soon nip out for some high quality beer.

Xen Help?

One thing that I wanted to do with the new host was track bandwidth usage upon a per-guest basis.

This should be possible with something like vnstat - however solutions counting traffic by interface name are not a good mesh with Xen - since by default a guest will have an interface with a name like 'vif20.0' - and no means of mapping that to a specific guest.

Each of my guests has been allocated three IPs which are defined like this in the Xen configuration file:

vif = [ 'ip=' ]

This works prefectly.

This also works:

vif = [ 'ip=,vifname=foo' ]

Unfortunately anything else I've tried to give each IP a static interface name fails. I've seen reports of this online but no solutions.

Given a configuration file like this the Xen guest doesn't receive any traffic upon the second + third address:

vif = [ 'ip=,vifname=foo1',
        'ip=,vifname=foo3' ]

Any suggestions welcome.

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Well! My manner is vague and aloof

13 October 2007 21:50

For future reference:

I will ensure this is kept up to date.

(Prompted by an unscheduled outage which I'm really annoyed about!)

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What you've got to do is eat this entire bowl of jello

5 September 2008 21:50


Two years ago I started running the xen-hosting.org setup, offering Xen hosting for 7 people for a reasonable price. (Basically to subsidise my own desire to have a big guest and not pay too much for it)

At that time I was charging £11.50 for a Xen guest with 256Mb of memory and 10Gb of disk space.

Each year since then we've managed to increase the spec. For the same price.

Two years on this means I'm now hosting 7 Xen guests with 1Gb of memory, and 40Gb of disk space, for that same price of £11.50 a month. Nice to see how things can improve as time goes on :)

In other news - It is just past our two year anniversary.

DNS Blacklist

Thanks to the people who said nice things about the DNS blacklist I setup the other day.

I suffered a couple of DNS-problems earlier in the day, but things should be back up and running for good now. I hope.

The ultimate cause was using ":" not "&" records with tinydns. Sigh.

ObFilm: Teenwolf

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I'm full of love? I'm not losing it?

18 February 2009 21:50

I think I've made the decision that at some point in the next few months the xen-hosting.org setup I maintain will be going away, and will be replaced with kvm-hosting(.org).

The only issue I need to ponder is handling the migration with the minimum downtime.

The plan would probably involve upgrading the host machine to Lenny, then installing KVM and fiddling with filesystems until the guests boot. I suspect it wouldn't be a huge job, but there are a few issues that will need to be planned.

Most notably I expect that most of the current guests don't have grub installed, etc, so we'd be in the position to use an external kernel + initrd. That's not an insurmountable problem, but I know that externally supplied kernels have caused me problem in the past with KVM.

Perhaps the actual plan would be to wait until September at which point I could order a new machine and cancel the current one. That would mean another increase in spec and the migration process would be a lot simpler - instead of everybody being offline for a few hours I could migrate guests individually from the old host to the new.

Anyway decisions decisions ..

ObFilm: Buffy - But we'll pretend the TV series counts as a film, kthxbye?



I feel a hate crime coming on.

6 December 2009 21:50

Recently I've been spidering the internet, merrily downloading content for the past few days.

The intention behind the spidering is to record, in a database, the following pieces of information for each image it stumbles across:

  • The page that contained the link to this image. (i.e. the image parent)
  • The image URL.
  • The MD5sum of the image itself.
  • The dimensions of the image.

I was motivated by seeing an image upon a website and thinking "Hang on I've seen that before - but where?".

Thus far I've got details of about 30,000 images and I can now find duplicates or answer the question "Does this image appear on the internet and if so where?".

Obviously this is going to be foiled trivially via rotations, cropping, or even resizing. But I'm going to let the spider run for the next few days at least to see what interesting things the data can be used for.

In other news I'm a little behind schedule but I'm going to be moving from Xen to KVM over the next week or ten days.

My current plan is to setup the new host on Monday, move myself there that same day. Once that's been demonstrated to work I can move the other users over one by one, probably one a day. That will allow a little bit of freedom for people to choose their downtime window, and will ensure that its not an all-or-nothing thing.

The new management system is pretty good, but I have the advantage here in that I've worked upon about four systems for driving KVM hosting. The system allows people to enable/disable VNC access, use the serial console, and either use one of a number of pre-cooked kernels or upload their own. (Hmmm security you say?)

ObFilm: Chasing Amy