Xen and the art of noise (management)

01 May 2006

While I definitely appreciate the folks at Textdrive for being early, and continuing, supporters of Rails, I recently decided to switch to a VDS for essentially the same reasons as Octopod. Actually, I have him to thank for that little extra nudge provided by his blog entry. I hadn't given the idea much thought until then because it seemed like overkill for hosting a couple personal sites. Silly me.

After quite a bit of research, I decided to go with Quantact as well. And thanks to Ezra's great tutorial, I'm up and enjoying myself a lot. Well, mostly. I decided to use Debian 3.1, which I've never used before. However, since I've been using Ubuntu for the past several months (which was a pretty big switch after RH and Fedora for years), the process was mostly painless. The one area I'm not real comfortable with is the firewall. I'm using Bastille, but I haven't closed the book on that yet. Actually, the idea that's pinging around in my head is: I wonder how it would work to use Rake to write the rules for iptables. Has anyone tried something like this? I'll let you know what I discover.

Okay, you might be wondering how the title fits in here. If you've checked out Quantact, you may have noticed they are using Xen for the VDS. Impressive technology. The rest? Well, when evaluating what I was finding most unsatisfactory about shared hosting, I realized it was the "noise". All these processes, all these directories, all this stuff going on that had nothing to do with me. I was spending a lot of time in that noise, especially that webmin interface when I just wanted to type a few lines and be done. Now ps aux fills less than one screen of my xterm. I don't think about special cases or file tickets for a port. Mind you, I'm not saying Textdrive has it all wrong. I'm just saying, my Xen VDS is nice and quiet.