Back online again (or why redundancy and failover isn’t quite enough)

Some of you might have noticed that this weblog has been off-line for a while. Was it the bogey (Pentium II, 256 MB) webserver that I use to host it? Nope. As a matter of fact, even if I would have had the best hardware or provider in the world, offering 100.0% uptime for a server, it wouldn’t have mattered.

Clustering, failover servers, redundant connections and multiple network cards, no difference to my online availability. My domain-name was in transit. It was switching ownership from one provider to another. While alexthissen.nl was in limbo over the weekend, the site was not reachable as there was no IP address registered with the domain name. So, doing a nslookup on the domain name would have returned a message such as “Non-existent domain” or something similar. The best hardware and software can’t save you here.

Let this be a lesson to you all: keep careful track of your domain name registration if you value your site’s uptime. The site is non-critical to me, but I do apologize for any inconvenience this may have brought.

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