A technical note about hosting…

I provide a lot of hosting support for my students. It’s best to learn on real-world systems, not XAMPP or other self-contained simulators. Thus I’ve registered a domain, set up GoogleApps for email and wiki-like services; and configured a linux-based host for the class.

This doesn’t have to cost a lot. The “SmallMan” server was built new for a budget of $325. It consists of: Intel 510DMO (dualcore 1.6Ghz Atom cpu), 4GB RAM, 500GB disk drive, dual-network addon card, an extra fan, an ITX case and P/S, and a DVDROM drive. It hosts three VMs, providing 23 webhosts, two email servers, various other support services… and draws a whopping 25 watts under heavy load.

Unless I look at it I can’t tell it’s running.

Time to move…

It will be moving day soon. Not for me, but for students wanting to take their accomplishments forward.

Since January, I’ve been teaching a course in Web Architecture. In practice this has left students with a number of websites, in various states of completion/construction/disrepair and so on. Most will have a customized WordPress install, and a Drupal 7 system.

For the time being, the course is hosted mostly on my little in-house server. By the end of the calendar year, students will have to move off this server.

But where to go?

There are generally three possibilities: host it yourself, pay for hosting, orĀ  take it down.

Host it yourself works only IF (big IF) you have: 1) requisite knowledge to install and configure a web hosting environment; 2) a computer to do this on; and 3) appropriate rights for hosting from your service provider. While my class teaches the first component, the others are beyond my control.

I think most will opt for paid hosting; or take it down. It’s too bad the college doesn’t provide hosting support for student projects.