Revision of our infrastructure

You may have seen this page in the last few days and weeks:

Cluster Problems

It’s annoying, I know. Sadly this was not completely avoidable, as we were working on improving our webpage as well as our whole server infrastructure. This means that you no longer have to wait for a few seconds for our webpage to load! To go into more detail, we have changed quite a bit. For starters, we moved from using PHP FastCGI to PHP-FPM. This nearly halfed the server-side generation of webpages. Furthermore we updated (almost) all of our machines operating system from Debian 7 to the new Debian 8. It not only has a newer and faster system kernel but also a bunch of updated software like the webserver we now use (Apache 2.4) which is also much faster. This upgrade didn’t come without its own set of problems – which is why you saw the error message displayed above. You might, by the way, see this message again tomorrow, as we will have a coding session throughtout the whole day, where we will also work on our infrastructure again. If you are interested in this, feel free to swing by our office tomorrow!

We also have a lot of new content on our website. On the Team page you can see all the people which are currently working in the OlyNet. On our Projects page you can now find information for our second big project: the print service. And you will also find new information in our resident’s area. Due to the restructuring of our webpage, we sadly generated some dead links. We will work on fixing those in the next few days.

HTTPS

Maybe you have also noticed that there is now a small green symbol in your browser’s address bar when you are visiting one of our websites. This is because we have enabled HTTPS on all of them. This means that all data that is transmitted between you and our website is now encrypted with modern cryptographic algorithms. We are using a technique called Perfect Forward Secrecy, for example, which will protect your data even in the case of our private keys being compromised. This has been possible because the DFN association has supplied us with certificates. This migration may, however, cause some problems with outdated webbrowsers (I’m looking at you, Internet Explorer on Windows XP…). To fix this, you just have to install a modern webbrowser like Firefox, for example, which we generally recommend anyone, as outdated webbrowsers (and operation systems) are the number one cause for malware infection.