I would like to be the first to publicly welcome “Porter” to the Walker’s family of webservers! Porter was, to be honest, long overdue – and to continue the awkward metaphor, it was a difficult birth. Maybe next time a C-Section. (ok, I’m done.)
The problem was obvious to anyone who’d used our website for any significant amount of time in the last year or two: as our technology on the backend increased, as new features and sites were added, the existing server was crawling to a slow and painful death. Frequent reboots (reboots! On Linux! The horror!) were required, and working in the CMS admin system was nearly intolerable. You could literally go get a drink of water while loading certain pages.
The solution was equally obvious: upgrade! But the execution proved quite labor-intensive – lots of tightly integrated bits and pieces that had to be unravelled carefully and put back together to create a semblance of a whole. Really.
My goal was to transition to the new server without any noticeable downtime, and it went as well as I could have hoped. There were some tense moments at the end – there’s really nothing like the feeling of pulling the plug (metaphorically) on an entire institution’s website and crossing your fingers you didn’t miss something when the new one comes up. Then a big sigh of relief when you realize of course you did, but it’s pretty minor, and wow! Look how much faster it runs!
So, welcome, Porter! You make your daddy proud. (ok, now I’m done.)