SHM IT Operations

With the changes proposed under “Renaming the Hackspace” this has prompted me to raise that we need to have a quick, open discussion about how we perform IT operations.

Things we need to consider:

  • No one seems to have access to the Bitfolk provided sponsored VPS
  • Said VPS is not powerful enough to run Discourse
  • No one is able to handle the mail system AFAIK
  • We need to have a setup which allows for some level of transience in administration

To this end I’d like to suggest we look at the following actions:

  1. Set up an AWS account for items such as domains and services
    I suggest AWS because its ubiquitous, several members are familiar with it, and it has powerful fine-grained access control which would be very well suited to our use case (i.e. adding and removing users who may have a specific role)

  2. Register a new domain under the Surrey & Hampshire Makerspace Brand
    We need a domain that properly reflects the name and brand.

  3. Migrate everything to the new domain
    Forum, Wiki, Blog, (E-mail redirection?)

  4. Move the forum to an SHM system
    While I don’t mind hosting the forum, I’d prefer if it weren’t on my personal VPS,
    mostly for ownership reasons, I’d prefer it be on an SHM-owned system.

Additionally we should consider:

  1. Sorting out the hosting for the forum/wiki etc so that its on a more easily maintained platform.
  2. Sorting out the e-mail if required so its more easily maintained.
  3. Have a look at the Blog and consider ways we could make it more active (e.g. Using the Discourse API so we can promote user posts to the Blog)

These are just suggestions but I think we should discuss some ideas about how to sort everything straight.

Hi Leo,

Great that you have the enthusiasm and time to work on this.

I really like your ideas, but I think we should investigate the Bitfolk VPS before investing our limited funds in more infrastructure. As luck would have it I have root access to the ssh VPS, I don’t however have access to whatever admin interface the kind Bitfolk folks provide but I am sure I can hunt that down.

In answer to your original bulletted list of points to consider;

  • I have root access (I am 1 of 3, the other 2 aren’t involved with the makerspace as much these days) and I can give access to others too. Would need to track down access to the Bitfolk admin.
  • Please see link here for some stats on the VPS. In short 1gb of RAM, 20gb of storage (mostly used) and 2 cpu cores.
  • There is a mail system running on it, I have no idea what it is or how to manage it.
  • “We need to have a setup which allows for some level of transience in administration” - It’s a linux VPS, many of us can manage such systems, it just needs some documentation and access given to several people.

Would a rebuild of our VPS be any good? by the sound of it there isn’t enought RAM to run discourse?

Hi All,

I’m working on getting the forums working more smoothly, I’m hoping to sort out the e-mail integration.
To get the e-mail integration sorted out we need to either set up the main bitfolk VPS to handle mail so that any address which doesn’t match a known inbox (e.g. directors, admin, webmaster) is entered into a default inbox which discourse can check.