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I need a server strategy

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 by Dave Winer.

First accept as given -- my server must be, at least for now, a Windows machine. Most of the server-side software I depend on is written in either Frontier or the OPML Editor, which are not reliably running, as a server, on any other OS, as far as I'm concerned. I know some people use the Mac versions as servers, but I don't have the time or patience to carefully redeploy everything one step at a time looking for incompatibilities.  Permalink to this paragraph

I am basically happy with the service provider I use, they're certainly not the cheapest, but they're reliable. But last year they got acquired. And they keep sending me emails saying they're running specials, and the prices keep going down, and that only means one thing to me -- I should be worried.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named car.gifIf I were to look at my vulnerabilities, from an online perspective, my guess this is the weakest point. If they were to fail, I'd have a big problem. I'm making sure my backups are good, my backup process was pretty flaky. But it would still be a major dislocation and a huge pain in the ass if I had to switch to a new ISP without the old one on the air and available to copy stuff from. I'm trying to do that as much as possible in advance.  Permalink to this paragraph

So when Amazon announced that they were going to offer EC2 with Windows -- I was practically elated. As soon as it's available I will switch to that. I sent an email to Ray Ozzie thanking him for this, along with Werner Vogels at Amazon, but Ray responded saying that what Amazon was offering and what Microsoft would offer are two separate things. Now I'm really confused! Permalink to this paragraph

All I know is that this service is very much needed, at least by this developer, and it can't come too soon. Whoever provides it first is likely to get my business and attention (and they might not want the attention, btw, that seems to be Microsoft's approach).  Permalink to this paragraph

BTW, one of the reasons I want to accumulate Asuses is that I feel intuitively they would make good servers running at the house. If neither Amazon or Microsoft's services are usable (it's conceivable they limit Windows in some way), my fallback is to get a T1 line for the house and centralize my entire presence. If the power goes out, or the house burns down, so be it. At least there would be one less thing to fail, to worry about.  Permalink to this paragraph

But outsourcing the cloud is much more sensible. Let's hope Amazon and/or Microsoft will open their services very very soon, there might be a Depression coming, so stability is something many of us will be looking for. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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