Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Open Source to the Rescue

Hurray fer Open Source projects. At me work, we recently underwent a major system change behind th' scenes (moved our line-o'-business from a mainframe t' an iSeries), by Davy Jones' locker. When we did, our web server (IIS4 under Windows NT4) started experiencin' a lot o' problems. Of course, I assumed that it were bein' a problem on th' other end, and just dealt with restartin' th' web services several times a day while we tried t' narrow th' problem down. But th' problems kept gettin' worse and worse, t' th' point where th' web service would not even stay up fer two minutes at a time, and a bucket o' chum.

When I finally redirected requests fer th' main suspect applications t' a static page, and th' server still crashed and burned, I began t' suspect a deeper problem, and I had t' broaden me solution options. Fortunately, I had previously begun (and abandoned, due t' time constraints) migratin' our web site t' a Windows 2000 server. I had th' entire site functionin' except fer one o' our web apps. Figurin' that havin' 90% o' our web site functionin' were bein' better than 0%, I suggested t' me bosses that we go ahead and make th' Win2K box th' primary server now, instead o' waitin' until I worked out th' problem with that one service.

The kink in that plan is that we have other services runnin' on th' auld server, and other internal applications which are hardcoded t' th' IP address o' that contraption. So I couldn’t just swap th' IP numbers o' th' two servers. And a DNS change would take too long t' propogate, and our customers need t' reach our web site now. What I needed were bein' a way t' transparently proxy web requests from th' auld server t' th' new server. I knew one solution right off th' top o' me head: Apache HTTPD runnin' as a reverse proxy, I'll warrant ye.

It were bein' easier t' get set up than I thought it would be, and seems t' be doin' th' trick just fine. And swab the deck, I'll warrant ye!

In other open source rescue news, I know o' at least two cases where Open Office were bein' able t' rescue corrupted Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, even when PowerPoint itself wouldn’t open th' files.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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One Response to Open Source to the Rescue

  1. Hi,Do ye have a list o' open source software that are alternative fer windows-based softwares? I work in and educational institution and we want t' shift from windows t' ubuntu. problem is, we need t' find alternatives fer th' softwares like programmin' languages, etc.thanks

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