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.


Learn about WordPress.


I’ve almost completed the first year of my education at Vancouver Island University. What’s left to be completed? My practicum of course!

Part of my practicum involves the heavy use and management of a WordPress website. In an effort to increase my knowledge in that area, I’ve recently moved my entire website over to the WordPress system. WordPress has many benefits compared to a static custom made HTML page. There’s many functions built in that allow fast creation of new pages, and new project posts. I’ve been using a plugin called Elementor, which is a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) type editor. The plugin has allowed me to re-create my website in a matter of minutes. In the future I will be combining my own skills in website development to create easy-to-edit custom websites and themes.

Currently I’ve setup a trial-run redirect from http://everettdahling.ca to my http://wordpress.everettdahling.ca subdomain. The reason for using the subdomain is to separate each website, for security reasons and compatibility reasons. In addition, part of hosting this WordPress system involves the continued learning of security. I’ve been following recommended installation guides in order to reduce vulnerabilities.

Furthermore, I’ve opened up my WordPress system to a few family members and friends. The point of which is to test the performance of my domain and servers, something I’m trying to learn how to improve. I look forward to seeing the sites they’re able to create! If you’d like to have a custom site hosted, let me know and I’ll create one for you. 🙂

Feel free to leave a comment if you have a suggestion or issue!

Everett D

Learn about Everettdahling.ca.

An entry into a learning place.

This main website serves as an entry point into Everett’s network. Everett uses his domain to learn about many new pieces of technology. This site uses the power of PHP and MariaDB to deliver dynamic content. For example, each of the projects listed here is a database entry!

Recent changes:

March 2019

I’ve recently enabled load balancing on my website. I am using NGINX to load balance the site using the round-robin method. I created an additional web server, which allowed me to split the load on each Apache server. The main purpose of load balancing is to reduce the amount of load on each server, increasing my websites performance. Although, not entirely needed, enabling a load balance was an excellent way to learn about the technology.

Enabling NGINX was helpful in reducing each servers workload, however, it’s become very difficult to push updates out to my site as needed. I needed to log into each site, and manually upload an update. This took a while and delayed any fixes. The best solution was to centralize the root folders of the website. To accomplish this, I installed and setup an NFS file server on a CentOS Linux server.

Now all of the content on my site is updated on each server instantly!

Furthermore, the setup of these services allowed me to place the servers on a dedicated subnet. I’m using VLAN tags to monitor and separate the traffic across my home lab network. This enables greater security and allows better insight into my websites statistics.

Probably the most important aspect about this change is that I’ve finally documented my site on my internal wiki. I currently am using a privately hosted Doku wiki that contains the documentation for my network. Enabling load balancing required me to rebuild each server. I’ve now fully documented the process, meaning fixes and re-builds will be very easy in the future.