Time for a Linode downgrade

My credit card number was stolen a few days ago by someone in Palo Alto right after my site was on Hacker News’s home page. I’m going to choose to believe they are unrelated. Interesting though since I don’t live or work in California and this card has never visited there. On the positive side, Visa Signature customer service is worth every penny and 2 new cards arrived on my doorstep in France in 48 hours.

But moving on to the point of this blog entry… it forced me to look at all the recurring fees I’m paying for and either update the card number to my new card or ditch the service.

I discovered my Linode fees had crept up to $115 a month for three servers and one getting backed up. So I ditched the two dev servers and was still paying $60 for a Linode 1536 instance with backup fees.

  • So I deleted log files and brought the disk space down to 12 gigs from 50 gigs.
  • Added more aggressive log rotation to protect from running out of space.
  • Optimized Apache to only have 5 children.
  • Optimized nginx as a reverse proxy so slow clients won’t hog the apache children by setting a shorter proxy timeout.
  • Added mod_status to do real-time checks on how many apache children are busy and what site they’re serving. (This server actually runs 3 sites including skipthepie.org and the website for my sister’s amazing Cape Town restaurant.)
  • Set MaxRequestsPerChild for apache to be 100 to make sure the apache kids don’t grow if there’s a memory leak.

This of course assumes you’re running nginx in front of apache as a reverse proxy, without which you absolutely can’t run a medium traffic website on nothing but thin-air.

Once it was all done, I shrunk the disk down to 20 gigs, rebuilt the server as a 512, got my $36 prorated refund from Linode (thanks guys, very nice policy!!) and I’m now paying $25 a month for hosting instead of $115 (Or saving $1080 per year)

Not exactly rocket science or Earth Shattering, but always nice to keep things lean and mean.