The Outer Limits of Server Maintenance

Today I’m bringing down zanti, our Sun Ultra10 that runs Red Hat Linux 6.2. It’s main job is being a PostgreSQL server. Zanti has been up for 597 days but now it’s time to do some major upgrades. I’ll probably switch it back to Solaris as well since Red Hat no longer supports the Sparc distribution of Linux. All our Intel servers run Red Hat Linux and all our Sparcs (except zanti) run Solaris. The interesting part will be getting a current version of PostgreSQL runnning on it after Solaris 8 is installed. There are no PostgreSQL binaries available for Solaris, so I’ll have to build it from source which is always a pain on Solaris boxes. Overall I’d prefer to stick with Linux. It’s a sad day but, then, zanti always was a misfit.

Computers, Software, and Art

Another week already gone! After solving our Verio DNS problems earlier this week, I spent the rest my time working with PostgreSQL. It took a couple of patches but I got it compiled and running on our Sun Ultra 10 with Red Hat Linux 6.1. I added a new 13gig drive just for the database. That should be enough space to get started. I’ve got our new web server (an Intel/RH61 box) set up with Perl DBI and PHP interfaces to the database server. Meanwhile, I’ve been working with Erin on our first web database application. I sneaked out of the office for a few hours today to catch the Georgia O’keeffe exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. It’s over in a couple of days and I’d promised Susan we’d go see it. It’s definitely worth seeing (but skip the audio guide!).

PostgreSQL and Perl DBI

All the work with PostgreSQL lately has led to the need to install mod_perl and the DBI Perl modules. In addition to the basic DBI module and a PostgreSQL DBD module, I’m also trying out the ApacheDBI module. Apache DBI provides persistant connections to the database, eliminating the time delays associated with opening and closing connections for each query. Right now all this stuff is running on one of our test machines but we’ll be upgrading our primary webservers soon with new, faster hardware, RH6.1, and full database capabilities.

More on PostgreSQL

Yesterday, I did more experimenting with PostgreSQL. First I upgraded to the most recent release to fix a problem with pgaccess, the tcl-based GUI provided with the package. The eventual goal is to set up an interface between Apache and PostreSQL via mod_perl. Unfortunately, it appears that the mod_perl binary is defective in the Red Hat 6.0 for Sparc release. I installed it and then configured Apache to use it in the usual way – which consists of adding two lines to httpd.conf to load the modules and then uncommenting the mod_perl stuff in srm.conf. Apache segfaulted on startup. I grabbed the updated RPMs from the Red Hat ftp server that look like they’ll be used in the 6.1 release but the results were the same. Since we don’t plan on running Apache and mod_perl on the Sparc in the production system, I decided to stop short of attempting a comlete rebuild from the source RPMs. But if anybody has any insight into what’s causing Apache to dump core on startup, I’d be curious.

From Oracle to PostgreSQL

Today was database day. I’ve been meaning to spend some time playing with PostgreSQL as a possible replacement for Oracle 8. I got through the basic installation, configuration, and testing today. I’ve got it running on zanti, a Sun Ultra 10 with RH Linux 6.0. So far it looks pretty good but we’ll have to find out how well it gets along with Perl and Apache.