Updates May 2019

Today marks the completion of a project I’ve been working on for a while now. As I’ve been hard at work on my practicum, I’ve had little time to invest into my own infestruction. However, I finally finished upgrading my site!

With the recent merger over to WordPress, I’ve been working hard to complete some other needed upgrades. The initial setup of my website included heavy use of Apache on Ubuntu Server. While there’s nothing wrong with Ubuntu Server, my recent class work has involved the use of CentOS and Fedora. To continue expanding my knowledge on CentOS, I felt it would be beneficial to move my entire server infrastructure over to a single platform.

As of today, my entire site is running on CentOS 7 servers! In addition, I’ve set up a central management Spacewalk server. The biggest benefit of moving over from Ubuntu to CentOS is the use of SELinux. SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) prevents networked daemons from accessing parts of Linux server without permission – this means my servers are a little harder to get into! Spacewalk is an open source Linux systems management solution. It automatically keeps all of my servers up-to-date, and makes it much easier to install new packages. Furthermore, Spacewalk allows enhanced monitoring of each system – which means issues or breaches will be easier to spot.

Have a look at the updated vCenter folder:

Migrating the entire site over from one server to another was a bit more difficult than I originally thought. As it turns out, Ubuntu makes setup of daemons much more easier than CentOS. Most Ubuntu packages have a lot more tolerance for configuration files incorrectly configured. For example, the NGINX load balancing configuration file I found in a guide was missing the required tags needed to function on CentOS. Furthermore, the difference in package versions between Ubuntu and CentOS caused conflict in the migration of my MariaDB. The MariaDB didn’t support certain character types and required backwards compatibility in order to function.

Overall, the migration of my servers from Ubuntu to CentOS was relatively painless. The entire experience was another chance to get familiar with how configuration files work, and the best places to find documentation online for CentOS. Going forward, I will continue looking into increasing my security and increasing performance.