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How do you do....it? Thread, Website Resilience in Technical; Mainly a question for those that host their website locally & I asked about this in theory a while back ...
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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Website Resilience

    Mainly a question for those that host their website locally & I asked about this in theory a while back but have firmed it up so apologies if this looks familiar.

    We are updating our website & moving it to internal hosting. One worry is that we are moving more and more to the website being our first point of contact in case of problems. So if the net connection goes down, we have a power cut or some other calamity befalls the site we want at least a simple page explaining what is going on & what people should be doing.

    So currently I am working on the principle that we keep our free hosting on www & have our new webserver named www2. This way we can create a scripted page that checks www2 is available and forward the user on to that if all is ok. If there is a problem then it will display a simple page stating there is a problem and have the ability for us to get at a backend page to add more info or select a reason. The worry is that anyone bookmarking the site will end up bookmarking a www2 page so bypass the frontpage and end up missing this system. So far the alternative is to hide the whole site within a frame so the url always appears as www. We are not too fussed about the normal reasons for not using frames but I have a niggle that this could cause problems.

    So what do others do? Anyone any ideas? Resilence is the priority really, everything else comes after.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I did look at internal hosting years ago, but with the cost of a server, UPS, electricity, server administration, security (in other words a firewall), and static IP address it just isn't cost effective whatsoever.

    If your website receives heavy traffic, the main disadvantage of ADSL is of course the uploading bandwidth restrictions. You could look at SDSL or a lease line, but again, using a hosting provider is definitely more cost effective.

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    Well there is no worries with all that, we have it all in place all ready and are on an 8 meg line. It is purely the fact of having something available if the site does go down & making it foolproof to get to.

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    So you have an upload of 8Mbps? Generally it's recommended to have at least 2 DNS servers and these can be pointed to any externally facing server in the world. The main problem is getting the two servers to 'talk' or share information, so some form of replication would be needed to keep information up-to-date.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    '8 meg line' probably means ADSL, so pitiful upload. If it were me, I'd use Apache and mod_proxy, with a suitably configured error page. Then poison your internal DNS so that it thinks the internal site is the one to go for, and let it handle passing requests through to outside.

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    Nope, leased line. Sorry may not have made this clear, this is for the school site. We want parents and the like to always get something, incase of problems and information. Do other schools that host their site internally just have a dead site if they go down?

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    Oh, I misread your OP completely, sorry. In that case I'd do the same thing but the other way round, so your external host proxies to the inside and returns a suitable error if it's not there. I did this at my last place, where I could only open the intranet to the outside world to a strict set of IP addresses, so I persuaded the LA that controlling access through an external proxy was a safer compromise.

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