Friday, August 06, 2010

Gmail for Business, Home Web Server DNS Services, Transferring Domains

OK, I'm broke. Like seriously broke. So in a cost cutting measure I got rid of my web host and decided to run a web server from home, as this would save me 17 bucks a month. I had an old box, and the software con gratis from Microsoft to do it. So here is what I learned.

  • Anti Virus software for servers is robbery. Very expensive. There are some hacks you can do to make free or low cost desktop AV software work, but it is kind of a pain and is not guarantee of working for long.
  • PC Tools free AV version does work on Windows 2008 R2 Server. Not sure how well, but it installed and did a scan, is free, and is what I ended up using until I make a purchase.
  • If you have a web host that established your domain for you, changing your domain to point somewhere else can be a pain. I would recommend going to the domain hosting service, getting your account all squared away, but don't make any changes yet. Then go back and cancel your web hosting account. I had trouble with one domain because every time I tried to change the name servers, the web host thought I was hijacking the domain name, and somehow they had authority to stop me. I'm still trying to fix that. Overall I think you are better off separating domain names and hosting, as if the two are connected they don't like to separate.
  • There are a few free dynamic DNS hosting services out there. I like and I decided to go with this round, as they were cheaper, and so far they have had great service.
  • Check out Gmail for Business. The standard version allows use of Goggle Aps, up to 50 email addresses each with 7 gigs of space, and was fairly easy to setup up so I could use Gmail seamlessly though my domain, so instead of "" everything is "". Pretty cool.
  • Watch what room you put your server in. My upstairs gets pretty hot in the day, and my server actually locked up and I thought something cooked off. Ended up banging the hard drive a few times with a hammer that was laying near by, shook the fan on the CPU, made a quick prayer, and the server rebooted and hasn't had a issue sense. Prayer works, but don't want to be presumptuous in the future, so I'm moving my server to another room were it is cooler.
  • And lastly, of course, back up. Especially if you are using an older box like me.
That is about all my wisdom so far. Hopefully a few sites I'm working on will get enough traffic to become a problem :), which I will consider a good thing. Then I upgrade the ghetto box and look for a co-location place to drop my server into, or maybe some sort of visualization solution. I think I need more access to my server then shared hosting will allow for what I want to do, we shall see how it goes.

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