VMadmin.co.uk is a personal blog with a primary focus on virtualisation within IT, but also covers other related infrastructure technologies. 

I've been running VMadmin.co.uk since 2008, when it initially it begun life as a wiki containing my personal configuration tips and notes, which I could access as I travelled. These were not publically available, however I soon decided to open them up to the world and the interest from the audience inspired me to continually add more posts.

At the time of writing this in 2014, (some 6 years on) there are currently 325 posts ranging from how to series guiding through the installation of vSphere, to best practice tips and advice on resolving issues I've personally come across out in the field.

 

I've gained visitors year on year and with this has brought a need to keep abreast of web technologies and other necessary hosting requirements.

My day job as a virtualisation/infrastructure consultant working on a contract basis, sees me designing and implementing many of the technologies I discuss on this blog. However my tech knowledge also spans into website design and hosting, mainly for myself and family. So I've always taken an interest in the web and as the years have gone by there has been a shift to HTML 5 and mobile compatible websites.

Before I ramble on too much about how things have changed my main point is this website is continually adapting. Case in point, I have recently re-written the website template from the ground up with a new HTML 5 design and changed datacenters.

 

So what keeps this popular virtualisation blog responding to over 56,000 visitors globally each month with minimal downtime, minimal latency and minimal cost?

 

The heart of VMadmin.co.uk is a VM hosted with Digital Ocean in their new London UK datacentre with 2vCPUs and 2GB vRAM and SSD storage. This VM is close to me in the UK for uploading images to the blog and writing articles.

I then front this CloudFlare which caches the entire website globally and provides circa 30ms latency to most countries around the world. This reduces the load on my server and protects me from DDoS and other attacks or spikes in traffic. Additionally if the VM at DigitalOcean is unavailable an older cached version of the site is served up from the CDN.

CentOS 7 is used as the guest OS with the LAMP stack running the very latest stable production versions available. On top of this I run google pagespeed to optimise the websites JavaScript, CSS and images.

The website itself is a Joomla backend which has a frontend I have created from scratch using Twitter bootstrap as the base, enabling the website to use HTML 5 and have a responsive mobile compatible format.

I take the availability of the site probably more seriously than I need to. However when you see the site being accessed at every minute of every god given hour my instinct to create and sustain a high performance and reliable system gets the better of me. That's why I monitor the site with Pingdom for strings on the webpage, and if there is a problem with the website I will know within 60 seconds and address the problem.

So here's to another 6 years and let's see what the site grows into, maybe in 6 years it won't be in the cloud anymore and IT will have moved to the moon!

Andy Barnes.

 

 

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Disclaimer

All advice, installation/configuration how to guides, troubleshooting and other information on this website are provided as-is with no warranty or guarantee. Whilst the information provided is correct to the best of my knowledge, I am not reponsible for any issues that may arise using this information, and you do so at your own risk. As always before performing anything; check, double check, test and always ensure you have a backup.

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