DigitalOrphans Update v2.6

As mentioned in previous discussions, we will be upgrading both websrv01 and websrv02 to the latest release of Plesk (our server administration software) once Plesk 8.2 has been released and properly vetted. Plesk 8.2 was released yesterday and as expected has support for RedHat Enterprise 5.0, the operating system that will power the websrv01 replacement server.

The upgrade from Plesk 7.5.4 to Plesk 8.2 is fairly significant and many new features have been added, such as:

  • Plesk Desktop
  • MIVA Merchant Module
  • Ruby on Rails Support
  • MySQL 5 Support
  • Domain Aliases
  • New Backup / Restore Utilities
  • SPF DNS Record
  • Wildcard SSL Certificates

The interface of Plesk 8.2 is similar to that of 7.5.4, so there will not be any major new learning curve for you or your clients. This seems to be a good upgrade which concentrates heavily on security and stability, but also includes a few new features.


We will be replacing the physical hardware that powers websrv01, as well as installing the lastest version of the linux operating system that runs the server. Just to be clear, this physical hardware upgrade is definitely not due to any sort of load issues or space constraints (we are hardly touching what the server is capable of) but because the 3 year hardware warranty for the server expires in December and I do not want to be running hardware that Dell will not replace if a problem occurs.

The new server hardware specs have been chosen for the most part, I just need to do a consult with Greg regarding the specs before placing the actual order with Dell. The new websrv01 server configuration will be as follows:

  • 1U Dell PowerEdge 860 Advanced Chassis
  • 2.66 Ghz Dual Core Intel Xeon 64-bit Processor
  • 4GB of Registered DDR2 RAM
  • x2 250GB Seagate Hard Drives setup in Raid-1 Configuration
  • SAS 5IR RAID Controller
  • Dual Gigabit NIC
  • 4 years of enterprise hardware warranty with 4 hour response time.

This server will run RedHat Enterprise 5.0 as the host operating system, and websrv01 will be run as a virtual machine inside of this server running RHEL5, Plesk 8.2, PHP 5.2, MySQL 5.0 and many more of the latest server technologies.

Data from the current websrv01 server will be migrated (not upgraded) during this process to help ensure a smooth transition of services.


This server is not scheduled for hardware replacement this year, in fact the load on this machine is actually very minimal. We will be investigating our hardware options next year at this time; regardless, operating system updates as well as a major Plesk upgrade are scheduled to be done during this upgrade phase as well.

While you are already enjoying many of the Plesk 8.0 features, we will be upgrading Plesk on this machine to the latest release and once again attempting a PHP 5.2 upgrade after the RedHat Enterprise 4.5 operating system updates have been completed.


Just to be clear, we will be doing upgrades of different sorts to both websrv01 and websrv02 during this upgrade phase. As with any major updates there will be some downtime involved although we do our absolute best to keep it to a minimum.

Monday, August 6th, 2007 @ 6:00PM
websrv02 RedHat Enterprise 4.5 operating system updates and Plesk 8.2 upgrade will take place. This should take approximately 4 hours to complete, and during this time services will be intermittent.

Friday, August 10th, 2007
websrv01 new hardware installation in Montreal data centre.

Sunday, August 12th, 2007 @ 10:00AM EST
websrv01 data migration from old hardware to new hardware. Due to the fact that there is a lot of data on websrv01, the migration could take most of the day to complete. During this time you will not be able to update your websites, although websites and e-mail will still be accessible. I would expect that there should be no more than 3 hours of downtime total during this migration, the rest of the time most services should be accessible.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.