Rolling out a new mail server – part 2

If you’re not going to try running this under AWS then you can pretty much skip on ahead to the rest of the configuration.

So the obvious place to start is in setting up the EC2 instance. If you just want to test this out a t1.micro instance is plenty big enough and the on-demand pricing to run it for a few days won’t cost a lot. In fact if you just signed up for Amazon Web Services you could run a t1.micro free for a year with their free tier service. As my expected load is not more than the t1.micro can handle I actually got a t1.micro EC2 reserved instance and it runs me less than $7.50/month give or take depending on bandwidth and storage costs. If you want/need some AWS consultancy get in touch as I’ve got plenty of experience with AWS and saving my clients plenty in recurring costs.

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Rolling out a new mail server

So for the past few years I’ve been content to outsource my email services to Web.com with very few problems though lately I’ve had a few contacts report problems sending me email and I’ve ran into issues where they don’t implement certain features I prefer to use (most notably user+extension email addressing). With that in mind I’ve set out to setup and re-implement my own mail server management and to ‘eat my own dog food’ as a consultant specializing in cloud service management I thought implementing it within Amazon Web Services. My experience with AWS has proven that I could make the migration and also save expenses which is never a bad thing.

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Pardon the dust

At this time UnderGrid Network Services is currently undergoing a corporate restructuring. As a result of this some information may be missing but we’re working diligently to remedy the situation and limit the unavailability.

All of this effort is being done in order to provide a better level of service to our clients and expand our value proposition to both existing and new clientele. In the next coming weeks and months look forward to hearing about all the new features and services UnderGrid Network Services will be providing. If you’ve been working with us in the past, we look forward to doing so in the future and we look forward to working with you that we have not yet had the opportunity to do so.

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Ruby on Rails hosting by Web.com

Usually in the past I’ve done my web hosting on either one of the many servers I own or utilizing VPS hosting providers like VPSfarm.com, GrokThis.net or Linode.com, but lately with the economy and a price that can’t be beat I’ve been using Web.com‘s Linux Hosting plan to meet my needs. This has met all my requirements except one, I couldn’t run my Ruby on Rails applications that I was working on development for using their services. Well until now that is… Thanks in part to a great Systems Engineer that I’ve had the pleasure of working with and knowing great strides had been made to improve the feature set to the level that a power user like myself would appreciate adding even more value to the offering.

Recently there had been work being done to add FastCGI access to the Linux Hosting plan which already offers PHP5, Python 2.4 and Perl 5. Ruby is still not available on the system as a whole; however, that doesn’t stop you from adding it to your own account which is precisely what I did. Armed with the ability to test out FastCGI I proceeded to work on getting a very simple test RoR app setup and running.

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GnuPG Key Policy Manager

Taking GNU Privacy Guard key usage seriously I have had a published key usage policy that I embed the link into any GPG key signature when signing a key. After years of using PGP/GPG I have found that having an established usage and management policy is nice as it lets others know that you take your key usage seriously.

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Spam be gone

So I’ve got this serious jonesing love/hate relationship with spam. Personally I’d love to collect all the spammers of the world in a nice lead lined room and irradiate them with low yield nuclear waste. Not enough to kill them note you, just enough to ensure that they don’t breed!

There are so many methods out there to try and curb the amount of spam out there but never seems to be enough adoption of them. I try my best to implement what I can as I’ve fallen victim of several “joe jobs” in the past. As a result of that I looked at Sender Policy Framework (SPF) before it got introduced into the IETF track and became spf2.0/mfrom,pra. I’m still running my spf1 classic records and it has helped a bit, but I wonder just how many servers really bother to check and honor the policies published.

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