Earlier today I posted a blog entry, then I went to view it on my blog, only to notice that my profile photo was conspicuously absent. I double-checked the URL for the source of the image -- it was http://agile.unisonis.com/gg.jpg. Then I remembered that I recently migrated agile.unisonis.com to my EC2 virtual machine. I quickly ssh-ed into my EC2 machine and saw that the persistent storage volume was not mounted. I ran uptime and noticed that it only showed 8 hours, so the machine had somehow been rebooted. In my experiments with setting up that machine, I had failed to add a line to /etc/fstab that causes the persistent storage volume to be mounted after the rebooted. Easily rectified:
echo "/dev/sds /ebs1 ext3 defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab
I connected to my EC2 environment with ElasticFox and saw that the EBS volume was still attached to my machine instance as /dev/sds, so I mounted it via 'mount /dev/sds/ /ebs1', then restarted httpd and mysqld, and all my sites were again up and running.
I tested my setup by rebooting. After the reboot, another surprise: httpd and mysqld were not chkconfig-ed on, so they didn't start automatically. I fixed that, I rebooted again, and finally everything came back as expected.
A few lessons learned here in terms of hosting your web sites in 'the cloud':
1) you need to test your machine setup across reboots
2) you need automated tests for your machine setup -- things like 'is httpd chkconfig-ed on?'; 'is /dev/sds mounted as /ebs1 in /etc/fstab?'
3) you need to monitor your sites from a location outside the cloud which hosts your sites; I shouldn't have to eyeball a profile photo to realize that my EC2 instance is not functioning properly!
I'll cover all these topics and more soon in some other posts, so stay tuned!
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