Exhausting server configuration

Chris and I are rapidly tiring ourselves out with server configuration. Well, I speak for myself, but he can correct for himself in the comments. We’re moving everything from the one old server it has run on for the last year and a quarter (very) onto two new identical servers (bitter and tea). And at the same time we’ve been putting everything in CVS – every little piece of configuration and cron job that there is, for the servers and for the sites.

It’s amazing how many systems there are, and how many things to worry about. Security, backups, redundancy (we’re not too hot at that – recommendations for PostgreSQL mirror/cluster/live-backup type things welcome), admin authorisation, SSL, templated /etc files, users, groups, packages, cron, anonymous cvs, web statistics, service monitoring… It just goes on and on and on.

And that’s without listing the sites – HearFromYourMP, PledgeBank, NotApathetic, WriteToThem, mySociety (.org). And services – services.mysociety.org, gaze.mysociety.org, secure.mysociety.org, debian.mysociety.org, cvs.mysociety.org, rt.mysociety.org (request tracker, Matthew has been setting up recently).

But when we’re done, everything about the containment of our applications will be configured in CVS. We can install a new server in a trice (honestly!). New developer sandboxes can be configured in a few seconds. Everything is logged and backed up.

We’re gradually doing all of the above, but we’re not done yet.