Steve Holdoway's blog
There can often be a problem when developers release their code to a production site. At the point that a competent developer releases code, you can be pretty sure that it functions as required. However, there can be problems with scaling - what works across a LAN in the office with a small amount of code may start to cough and splutter a bit once the Internet is interposed, and log tables that are never maintained can grow, and grow, and grow.
However, this post isn't about that, it's about when a developer sets up the production server itself. Here's a wee tale...
I got a call from one of my customers the other day, complaining that site y's pages were being indexed under site x, and they (understandably!) wanted it fixing.
It took a bit of working out as to what is happening, but this is what I found out...
Are you? I certainly am.
Here's some of my experiences in getting the best out of linux servers in a high performance web environment. My current experiences are in providing Magento and WordPress servers, and are based on more decades of technical experience than I care to remember. I am a firm believer in the KISS ( Keep It Simple, Stupid ) principle, bear this in mind with some of my suggestions: they're usually taken so overall performance can be understood more simply, and not to provoke a Holy War!
One of the services that we offer is to provide a server audit, usually arising from a reduction in performance, mail blacklisting... that sort of thing. This usually leads to a security upgrade, server cleanup and general tuneup.
As you well know, there's no such thing as a happy sysadmin, but there are some things that you can do that will make them even grumpier than usual. A big fat juicy email promotion has the potential to do just that. Here's a couple of suggestions on how to make them run far smoother, based on a couple of recent bad experiences.
A fair proportion of my work these days is to take over the management of pre-existing Magento sites, migrating them to a new Amazon host along the way. It's often the case that you'll need to migrate the DNS NameServers over as well. I've got this in my mindset as a trivial job, an you just put up with a bit of tedious cutting and pasting between GUIs to get the job done.
I've just been asked to troubleshoot a web server that had just started locking up for no apparent reason. Obviously the first thought was that it had been hacked ( some of the sites had, but no big deal - they got fixed on the fly ), so I logged in to have a look. Well, 30 minutes later I logged in, because that's how long it took to complete the process. It was a case of type some stuff and come back 10 minutes later.
I get loads of grief from devs who are absolutely certain that their life is going to end if they don't have phpMyAdmin installed on their production server. Me - I just see it as a walking security disaster just waiting to to be used. I have no problems installing it in a development environment, but no way will I publish it on the internet for all to see. Maybe to a static IP address or two, or even better, over a VPN connection only, but that's where it ends.
A week or so ago, one of the Magento sites that I administer started spewing out offers for wonderful Gucci handbags, and similar products. Obviously all fingers were pointed at me as the one not looking after the site properly. Now, I always admit that there is some level of irresponsibility involved in allowing anyone at all ftp access to a production site, so I had a real good look to identify the culprit.