2015 Tech Refresh

A new year has landed and already it’s first month has left those remaining with the cheque. In keeping with my capricious nature, I am often struck with the need to re-do my setup of local and remote servers/hosting. One of those times is now upon me and I’ll likely use this post to document the happenings.

Remote Setup

My existing remote setup consisted of a $20/month DigitalOcean instance (snowy-old) running most services, a $10/month instance for a friend’s static site and another $10/month instance designated for use by two projects on which I volunteer. I spun up a new $20/month instance (snowy) running Ubuntu 14.04 and installed nginx, build-essentials, Node.js, Phusion Passenger, PHP5-FPM and Ruby. I then created subfolders under ‘/var’ named after the domain of the sites they would be hosting. I also created files named after those domains in nginx’s ‘sites-enabled’ folder and added the domains to the MotD so I could log in to remind myself of what was running.

I then migrated across most of the sites from snowy-old and hardened the server a bit (ufw, disabled root login, SSH-only access, Fail2ban). Noticeably, I did not move across the FBNotify tool I built for my old workplace, allowing me to finally decommission it when I shut down and deleted snowy-old.