Migration Tips to Media Temple (dv) 4.0 from (dv) 3.5

I recently transitioned to Media Temple’s (dv) 4.0 from their (dv) 3.5, and though it was a pretty painless process, I’d like to share the following suggestions to ensure a smooth transition for anyone else considering upgrading:

  1. Following their guide was very helpful, Migration Manager makes the transition fairly straightforward:
    http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/(dv)_4.0:Plesk_Migration_Manager
  2. Item 12 on their guide didn’t make sense until I moved everything over. All your Domains are under Subscriptions and should be listed under your name, this is the menu you’ll use the most and it allows you to launch the Control Panel for all domains under the subscriber, which after migration will be you.
  3. The new Control Panel is where you’ll manage Users, Email Address, FTP, Stats, etc. You’ll have a Subscriptions drop down at the top which allows you to quickly switch between all domains under that subscriber. All previous email users have roles now and can now login to your server and manage their email accounts. The only caveat is that they can see all other domains on that particular Subscriber’s Control Panel. This isn’t a big deal for me, most of my customers don’t want to manage anything, but I’ll be creating different subscribers for each domain to prevent unauthorized access.
  4. I had one client that had another developer request access so I setup a limited account on Plesk 8.6, which showed up as a Domain Administrator. Since all my domains were on one Subscriber, this person had access to all my accounts, which wasn’t ideal, so I did the following.
    1. Go to the Customers Tab, create a new account with the customer contact information and give them a username and password (I used the FTP username and password to keep access the same as on the old server), but give a fake domain name, since it requires you to add domain name information when you create a customer.
    2. Go to the Subscriber panel, check the domain name in question and hit Change Subscriber at the top.
    3. This will take you to a page showing all your Customers, which for me is just myself and the other administrator. Change the subscriber, which allows the previously used FTP login to directly access the Control Panel for that domain, but not any of your other accounts.
    4. If you use Spam Assassin for email accounts, it seemed to be active for everyone by default. I use it myself and only had it active on a couple other email addresses. One of my clients complained she was missing email so I tried to raise the setting under Server Management > Settings > Spam Filter Settings in Plesk, but it didn’t seem to take. To fix this, I SSH’d into the server as root, Rebuilt Qmail/Mail server configuration and Restarted the Qmail/Mail server. After that, checking the mail log showed only the correct email addresses using Spam Assassin.

    Additional Performance Tuning recommendations, as I noticed the base configuration was maxing out my allotted RAM and didn’t want to immediately upgrade the server to a higher plan:

    1. If you use Media Temple’s name servers for DNS (all my domains point to ns1.mediatemple.net and ns2.mediatemple.net), you can disable DNS on your server. I followed the article here, second item on the page: http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/(dv)_HOWTO:_Misc._performance_tuning. After disabling DNS I saw RAM usage drop to about 70%, and no maxed-out resource errors.
    2. If you haven’t done this before I recommend raising Courier IMAP connections on the server. I enabled this on my old server since Apple Mail would frequently report it was timing out on the email account. After the quick change, no more problems:
      http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/(dv)_HOWTO:_Raise_Courier-IMAP_Connections

    Here’s a couple other links that might be useful during the transition:

    Common SSH Commands, since I always forget these: http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/Common_SSH_Commands

    Wiki page for all things (dv) 4.0: http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/Category:(dv)_4.0

    I hope your transition goes smoothly, I’m extremely happy with the upgrade, Plesk 10 offers a lot more bells and whistles for my clients and hosting resellers. I’ve been a happy customer with Media Temple for years, I think their service and support are top-notch and this was a welcome upgrade.

2010 Year in Review

I decided to write my own year in review post after being inspired by Seth Godin’s post, #YearInReview What did you ship in 2010? This was an exciting year, both in business and my personal life. Here’s a breakdown of what I shipped:

  • Rachel and I got engaged! We’re looking forward to a small ceremony with friends and family, then off to Italy for our ten-day honeymoon.
  • Worked with SALT. Optics to launch a new website for SALT. Optics and SEESALT. a blog of inspirational items.
  • Worked with Dewey Nicks to transition their site from one that was Flash-dependent to a mobile-friendly version utilizing HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery.
  • Launched Imperial – Barbershop Grade Products for Razorback’s Barber Shop in Long Beach, California.
  • Worked with CMg Design to launch an online version of the Parsons Sustainability Report
  • Worked with Maerita Cooper to launch her new website Manage My Life NYC.
  • Worked with Luxury Brand Group to update their Portfolio and Press sections.

2010 has been a great year, I’m looking forward to 2011 and the new experiences it brings!

Is this thing on?

It’s only been two years since the last post so I figured that it was about time to update my website. I can’t complain, business has been steady, but it’s no excuse for neglecting to write or post new work. So what has happened over the last two years?

I’ve been working with SALT. Optics the past few years and we were able to finally launch their new website, offering an updated look and ease of use on any platform. We also worked with Pat Brumfield from Normalcy to launch their online store. Feedback has been great and I consider myself lucky to work with such a great group of people.

While partnering with CMg Design I was able to work on some great projects for Microdevices Laboratory at NASA JPL, Mercury Insurance and Parsons Corporation.

One of the most exciting non-work relate news items, is my girlfriend, Rachel, became my fianceé, we’re looking forward to the wedding next year. When you have time, take a look at all the new work while I continue working on the new site design.