Failover Page


I’m hosting a client with gigenet and while they’re great, once a day we prefer to reboot the VPS. this takes approximately 10-12 mins before all services are back online. During this time, users are unable to find the server and they see an error till its back (obviously).

I’m wondering if its possible to setup some sort of maintenance page the instantly comes online the second the server goes down for any reason whatsoever… reboot, downtime etc…

Any suggestions?

Well we run a 752mb solution for the server & the ram tends to clog up because the site is intensive & resource heavy. Hence the reboot, to free up ram.

Plus certain changes on the server require a reboot so yeah

The server is from gigenet, which is pretty good. The reboot itself only takes a min or two but by the time everything comes back its 10-12.

Dns is hosted on the same server.

Well… A server that is down obviously cannot display any “maintenance” page. So any Apache means to do that is no option.

Hence it needs to be done through DNS methods. Is the server in question hosting the DNS zone too? If not, i.e. if the nameserver is hosted on another machine under your control, it could be instructed to route the domain name to a different IP which belongs to a machine that can display the “maintenance” page. You need to set the DNS timeout to a fairly low value then to avoid the old IP being requested due to caches.

If the nameserver is also on the machine in question, it obviously will go down together with the rest, which complicates things. You then need to reconfigure the authoritative nameserver for your domains at the respective NIC, which involves problems like caching times. It will take a while before such changes propagate throughout the Internet.

All in all, this is not a trivial topic.

Which rises the question: Why the heck do you need to reboot that VPS every day and why does that take 10-12 minutes?? For comparison, rebooting my main Virtualmin VM takes about 75 seconds, and is only needed for kernel updates.

If I were you, I’d look for another hoster whose VPSes are faster and more reliable really.

Hmm. If the site is so “intensive and resource heavy” that it needs a reboot once per day to “free up RAM”, I’d seriously consider upgrading the VPS’ specs. Rebooting the thing regularly is not the right solution for resource shortage.

And 10-12 minutes for the services to come back up is definitely not normal.