Something weird and unexpected happened lately: the big Amazon cloud failed. Anyone on any media is talking about it, and everyone is communicating just this sense of surprise.
Wait a second and let’s ask to ourselves: why is it weird and unespected that AWS failed? The cloud is something human, so it has failed, as expected, and will fail again. By the way, I am sure that it failed a number of times in the past, but the failures weren’t so big to be noticed like the last big event. Continue reading →
I’m trying to host my handful of web sites on Amazon, but in EC2 machines there’s support for only one IP (private and public) and, as you know, SSL/TLS encryption let you have only one domain name per IP address: this is a heavy limit (with a reason), but it’s unacceptable for some reasons (public IP addresses scarcity, cost and management overhead).
Besides other solutions (multi-domain certs for example), I would like to go for the most reasonable way: virtual hosted SSL/TLS web sites, exactly the same way we all use today for non-encrypted web sites. I use Apache and for it there are a couple of solutions in the works that implement SNI or Server Name Indication: an extension to TLS protocol that “… permits the client to request the domain name, before the certificate is committed to by the server”. The support in browsers can be also a problem, but every recent browser supports it (with the exception of IE 6 and 7, apart from Vista); try your browser here. Continue reading →
Everyone is aware of the problem of discovering the causes of a bug when it’s only present in one environment and, if it’s Production, the problem is even bigger, even if you have a solid error logging system in place.
Recently we faced this same situation and we didn’t have any clues to help us, only that the w3wp process was dying and the ASP.NET session remained locked. After some thought, we arrived at the conclusion that there was an infinite loop somewhere, and we had a vague idea of the “zone” of code where this was happening, but we couldn’t reproduce it in any other environment even after several hours of testing.