I have just finished what I hope is the last bug tests for the new FreeBSD/Apache web server. This will replace the current web server, which has been very stable and very reliable, and I hope I am not changing that, as it is running the same base software as before. What is different is that my sanity will no longer be negatively effected by administration of this machine. The current web server requires me to log in and make changes to the configuration, by hand, every time someone needs a new site, or a change to a site. This is needlessly wasteful of my time, and slows down site implementation times. New sites take me well over ten minutes to manually enter and bring live. Site visitor tracking has to be manually configured as well, and I have a nasty habit of forgetting to set that up for new sites. There is also the issue that sites on the web server, do not always get entered into the billing system. Data that needs to be entered in two places and kept consistent is never a good idea.
So, the wonderful solution was to build a new machine that is completely tied into our billing system. You want a new site, I enter it into the billing system, which provisions the site for me. I only have to input a sitename, a username, and a password. You get a site that is ready to go, ftp access, and stats tracking, all automatically.
Now I have to start moving customer sites over to the new machine, a process that should about the next eternity. In addition to the new automated provisioning system, a few upgrades were an order while I was at it. Most notable being that PHP version 4 is no longer supported, so the new webserver has version 5 installed. This is almost guaranteed to break several websites, as the differences between versions 4 and 5 are immense. But, security patches for version 4 no longer exist, meaning any new bugs found in version 4, will never be fixed. Kind of a bad thing to leave PHP4 installations around at this time.
If you have a site on the current webserver, and want to migrate it to the new machine yourself. Please let me know. I can give you access to both machines at once, and you would be saving me a load of time.