I Moved to Montreal!

Three years ago I migrated this blog from my owned-and-operated server here in Charlottetown to an Amazon Web Service’s Virginia-based “cloud” server, and it’s been served from there until yesterday.

Last month Amazon announced the opening of a Canadian region and I decided it was time to repatriate my hosting. Amazon remains a large multinational corporation, of course, so this is repatriation of bits, not dollars; it’s not like I’m migrating to a artisinal server farmer in rural Quebec.

While AWS is notoriously easy to use, especially when it’s an environment you live and breath inside professionally, I managed to cock up the migration.

The first thing I did was to purchase a reserved instance for the Virginia region the week before the Canadian announcement. I had no way of knowing the Canadian announcement was coming, so this was a simple cost-saving move (Amazon gives you a substantial discount if you pre-pay for a year), rather than a cock-up.

Once the Canadian announcement came, I thought I’d simply be able to sell the reserved US instance on the AWS Marketplace; alas this wasn’t possible because the Marketplace is one of the few aspects of AWS that requires a U.S. bank account.

I contacted AWS support about this quandary and, to my surprise and delight, they offered, as a one-time-only-don’t-get-used-to-this move, to refund my US reservation if I purchased an equivalent Canadian one.

I eagerly took them up on the offer.

And managed to cock that up as well: I misunderstood the AWS UI poorly enough that I managed to purchase a second US reservation by mistake.

AWS support again extended a hand of help, and agreed to refund that mis-reservation too.

So now I’m set. I migrated ruk.ca, consuming.ca, pei.consuming.ca, casamiacafe.ca, my Nextcloud, and the backing infrastructure for the Social Consumption Project  yesterday; with a few glitches here and there, it all went without issue. The U.S. instance is still running to allow me to clean up a few stragglers; by the end of the week I should be serving pure 100% Canadian bits, though.

Please alert me to any weirdness you note that might be a result of this migration.


Oliver Rukavina's picture
Oliver Rukavina on January 4, 2017 - 17:23 Permalink

Your Server is Like Your Life. Peter's Life = Peter's Server (United States of America to Canada)

Charles Tassell's picture
Charles Tassell on January 6, 2017 - 02:01 Permalink

Hey Peter, it looks like the SSL vhost for pei.consuming.ca is messed up (it's hitting the ruk.ca one and giving certificate verification errors.) consuming.ca works fine though.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on January 6, 2017 - 12:58 Permalink

Thanks for pointing this out, Charles.

I’ve updated the pei.consuming.ca site to force HTTPS.

This was a little more intensive that I’d planned, because it also meant migrating the back-end data source to an HTTPS server, but that was work I needed to do anyway.

Charles Tassell's picture
Charles Tassell on January 6, 2017 - 02:02 Permalink

E-Mail notifications are also busted on comments. "Unable to send e-mail. Contact the site administrator if the problem persists."

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on January 6, 2017 - 12:06 Permalink

Thank you, Charles, for pointing this out. A missing PHP dependency was the culprit. Fixed. And the comment notifications are flowing again.

David's picture
David on January 6, 2017 - 15:39 Permalink

I would like to mention that your previous guide to getting off Google products led me to Nextcloud/FastMail also with a data center in Montreal that I just migrated to. Like Moses into the desert, you are.