[ALUG] Sysadmin work, anyone?

Jenny Hopkins hopkins.jenny at gmail.com
Tue Feb 15 11:24:19 GMT 2011

Sorry to post to main with this, but if anyone would like a spot of
work this guy is looking urgently for someone.  I've taken on more
work than is comfortable already, so have no time.  Let me know if
interested and I'll pass on his email etc.

Hi Jenny,

About 4 months ago my mum passed me your email address about a bit of
freelance sys admin work for a site I’ve been building with a friend
for the last couple of years. In the next couple of weeks we are
finally starting a proper advertising campaign, hence I’m panicking
about having absolutely no concept of when/why/if our site will get
overloaded/crash/go down.

We are currently on a 1GB slice with slicehost.com, running a Django
1.1 site, with a PostGreSQL database and Apache 2/memcached (the
memcached thing I am taking on faith from a previous developer who
said he’d set it up, but he wasn’t the most trustworthy guy!). the
website is www.gayhop.com, and at present have never had more than
maybe 10-20 people online at one time (at that was just for a few days
when we told friends about it, generally it’s just 2 or 3 of us
connected simultaneously).

I know from various reading around and asking slicehost support that
our options are either to simply throw more servers into the equation
(which I guess gets expensive pretty quickly) or go for a setup
similar to this:
with a DB server, a static media server, a load balancing server, and
an actual app server (or several of each).

As you may guess, I know very little about sys admin stuff. I’m a
frontend developer mostly, although I’m fairly competent with Django
now, having had to write a lot of code to get things working the way
we want after our Django developer left in September. But I know
nothing of Apache/linux/server setup.

I guess what would be great is to know:

a)      What you think we should do regarding our setup to minimise
the chance of going down

b)      How much you’d charge to advise us and do the work, OR if
you’re way too busy – whether you can recommend anybody else?

{I asked him for a few more details....}

Hi Jenny, thanks for your response.

The idea for now would be hiring somebody to do a one-off job of
advising us on the best steps to take to cope with higher numbers, and
then implementing those. so for now no support contract, although if
we find somebody good that would obviously be something we will need
in the future.

Our slice was setup by our last developer, I did none of it and really
do know nothing! It’s running Ubuntu 8.10 (intrepid) according to

In terms of user numbers – really no idea! I’d want a setup that can
at the very least cope with 100 online users at one time (maybe our
current one can – I’ve no clue), though if advertising goes well this
would hopefully quite soon get up towards the thousand mark. At that
point though I’m sure we would need to re-evaluate our server setup
anyway, and get a sys admin to do serious upgrading for us.

Thanks again for your help already.

Kyle Duncan

More information about the main mailing list