Yesterday, I quietly switched this site over from its old Apache server to the much more lightweight combination of nginx + XCache. As someone who has worked with Apache servers for roughly 14 years now, the thought of moving my personal site to a server environment that I didn’t know how to troubleshoot in great detail was terrifying. But you start becoming irrelevant the second you allow yourself to stop learning new things. So I took a play from the Ol’ Jack Burton playbook and said “what the hell?“.
All I really needed to do to get it going was:
- Select the server from the Private Server configuration menu in the DreamHost web panel.
- Wait for a configuration update to run on the server.
- Flush my local DNS cache.
- Check the HTTP headers to verify I was seeing the right server.
- Comment out a few conflicting mod_rewrite rules from .htaccess.
- Copy and paste new rules into my personal site config file.
And while that might seem like that list had a bunch of stuff in it, I can honestly say that it took no more than 30 minutes to make those changes.
The only weird thing that has happened so far is that it had a weird memory spike last night — but that dropped off this morning for no discernible reason. Since everything has been level after that, I guess I’ll have to keep an eye on my graphs and make sure it’s not a nightly thing…
P.S. Since I’ve never been one to leave “good enough” alone, I’m going to keep making tweaks (and maybe start piling on a few more active sites) to see what nginx can do. Expect more nerdy updates on this eventually.