Another web hosting change, any issues?

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Honor Circle
I spent half the day today moving over hosting from the existing service in Miami to Amazon Web Services in Virginia. I think everything is back up now so if any of the heatermeter downloads don't work or the device registry isn't working, let me know and I can look into it.

For those keeping track, this is the 6th migration in the past year.
  • Hosting provider A was shutting down a location (where we were hosted for several years), so I needed to move it to another of their locations
  • Hosting provider A decided they hated the people running the new location I selected, so the ended their contract with them and created a new VPS at a new site in the same city
  • I decided the hosting was a bit too volatile so I signed up with hosting provider B, with provider A as a warm backup
  • Hosting provider B declared bankruptcy and shuts down with one week notice, just 1 month after I migrated. Back to provider A!
  • Hosting provider C selected, site migrated, virtual hard drive corrupts itself within 12 hours and becomes unbootable. I wipe and migrate again, drive is dead again the next morning. Back to provider A!
  • I get a refund from provider C, migrate to a new provider D. This one has a static IP address conflict so when you're connecting to it, you've got a 50/50 chance of getting my VPS or this other VPS. Spent a month working with tech support to try to resolve the issue. It works for a couple weeks out of that, but then suddenly one morning I'm back to getting someone else's server with my IP. Back to provider A!
  • I give up and finally decide to pay the "big bucks" to be hosted on Amazon's AWS, provider E. Provider A will still provide a warm backup, but I'll probably work to use the AWS tools to build scalable redundant systems all within AWS.

The good news is that now things should be quicker. Amazon has a lot of bandwidth and the new server has a the fastest CPU in the bunch and SSD storage. I'm sure our forums host, Chris, is familiar with the joys of hosting issues and how much work it can be to just keep a site running, but I thought you all might get a kick out of this story and hopefully this will be the last hosting change. Or at least the last hosting change of this year? I have had it with these monkey-fighting VPS hosts on this Monday to Friday internet!

We went from ubuntu LTS server, to CentOS (provider C and D), to now Amazon Linux (bitnami and Debianish?).

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Honor Circle
Oh sweet! They have so many options for hosting services I wasn't sure what to use at first. I ended up with just a Lightsail instance with their LAMP stack, since it is the closest to what we have currently and it is still pretty cheap at $60 a year as long as we stay under the caps.

I also would like to see if we can hook up to their messaging service so we can get actual SMS notifications and short emails without having to resort to using an SMTP to SMS gateway or hosting an email server like we do now.

I've also looked at their IoT framework, but it is more geared for things that update infrequently rather than every second and 500 HeaterMeters pushing out 50-100k messages per session would get expensive to maintain. Also, since their framework isn't designed for that level of service, it probably isn't the best architecture for it. I do have adding MQTT to the HeaterMeter firmware as a TODO though. I'd love to be able to push live data up to the cloud (in fact I have a running design document) to be able to do machine learning, Alexa/Google Assistant integration, AWS Lambdas, etc on the data in addition to the fact that you could also see your live cook remotely without firewall holes.
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Using SNS for test/sms and SES for email would be pretty simple to setup. I think both qualify for some level of free-tier credits as well.

I'm a big fan of Lambda and serverless movement. We try and do as much as we can via API Gateway backed by Lambda with some containers running on ECS for some larger workloads.