So Long, Farewell

by Jon Davis 15. May 2009 02:10

No I'm not killing off my blog. I am, however, going to stop being so cheap, and start hosting my IIS web apps, including this blog, on an external server for a change.

For years now I've been hosting my blog here behind a home cable modem. As I post this--indeed this'll be the last night that this will be the case--I have a cheap virtual dedicated Linux server with Apache proxying out to my home IP on an alternate port. COX only blocks port 80 (the web port, and some other ones like SMTP's), so I have my router at home rigged to redirect traffic on the alternate port back to port 80 and to my internal web server's IP address (this is the same server that "serves" me prerecorded shows on my HDTV via Vista Media Center). The proxy/router setup works, but then COX keeps killing off my Internet connection. I keep having to stand up, go to the back room where the cable modem is, disconnect the cable modem power and coax, wait for 5 seconds, and reconnect everything. (Yes, the coax, too. It doesn't resync unless I do that.)

My web site tends to go offline all day while I'm at work. I've noticed that the disconnects happen routinely at about 3:15 PM and at about 1:45 AM, but they also happen erratically and sporatically throughout the day, and it often stays offline until human intervention (manual shutoff and powerup). And, I am beginning to suspect that they are actually monitoring network traffic and they disconnect me when they see any normal flood of inbound HTTP requests that come from two or more visitors at a time. It might also be heat-related; the disconnects are suddenly much more frequent lately, and coincidentally it's suddenly a lot hotter around here in this Arizona climate.

So I'm finally caving in; short of tunnelling the proxied HTTP packets, I can't beat COX at this game. I'm going to try a VPS from http://www.automatedvps.com/about.php .. They look like an under-established outfit but so far they are not just affordable for Win2008 virtual dedicated hosting, the VPS I've already snagged feels quite performant. I'll have all the Windows play dough I could ask for, and I won't have to worry about my blog or any major web site I might be hosting going offline because COX wants to keep us from hosting stuff.

Incidentally, before signing up with AutomatedVPS.com, I tried Mosso.com's Site Cloud. I'd been slobbering over their Kool Aid for so long, I had to give them a shot. It was ugly, though. Their control panel behaves erratically, frequently showing multiples of new objects being added until you refresh or until a Live Chat support staff deletes the extras. I had to throw the whole thing out when I saw that I had NO control over IIS 7 and the subweb applications and application pools.

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UPDATE: Ouch. Yeah, that took a lil more time than I expected to transfer everything (see next post re SQL Express and Dynamic Ports), but it's switched now. 


 

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
 
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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