Moving!

AVAS Technology’s blog is moving to our website. This will allow us to update the content much more regularly and provide more diverse content. Over the next few weeks the content on this blog will be removed and redirected to the new address.

The new blog is located at: http://avastechnology.com/Blog/Home

 

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Lack of Content

I must apologize for the lack of content recently. We have recently been revamping our software into a platform-as-a-service model. Later this summer we will be moving all this content to our website (http://www.avastechnology.com). In the mean time new we have brought on board a couple interns to help edit and organize the backlog of content and get it posted.

Over the last two years we have been developing a custom Content Management System for small businesses, particular service firms who work on a project basis. About a month before the proposed launch, the business model was changed to operate more like a platform-as-a-service than just a software offering. For the last two months we have been working on automating the application and platform management so web design companies can easily signup and use our platform with their clients.

Compressing all HTML pages with Apache2 on AWS

The Apache2 web server has two mods which can be used to compress data sent to the client (ie browser); mod_deflate and mod_gzip. The gzip mod is more versatile but more challenging to setup. For simple compression of HTML, CSS and JavaScript files, the deflate mod works just file.

Compression is particularly important on Amazon Web Services (AWS) because:

  • HTML is very redundant and bulky
  • Smaller files are sent to the client faster
  • AWS charges you based upon OUTPUT bandwidth; smaller files = less bandwidth usage per file

Simple activation of mod_deflate

These instructions assume you have already setup an AWS instance and have an SSH client (like PuTTY) available and a SCP client (like WinSCP) to use when editing the configuration files.

  1. Log in to your instance via the SCP client then open the apache2 virtual hosts configuration file (“/etc/httpd/conf.d/vhosts.conf” for the default setup mentioned in other instructions here).
  2. Add the “AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml” Filter to each virtual host (virtual hosts are the groupings starting with “<VirtualHost “). You should inclose the filter in a conditional module statement (“<IfModule xxxx.x>”) to make sure your web server keeps running even if you happen to remove the deflate module.
  3. Save the virtual hosts configuration file.
  4. Open the SSH client and transfer to the root user (“sudo su”)
  5. Restart the apache2 service (“service httpd restart”).

The changes to the virtual hosts configuration file

  • <VirtualHost *:80>
  • ….
  • <IfModule mop_deflate.c>
  • AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml
  • </IFModule>
  • </VirtualHost>

Summary of command line inputs

  • $ sudo su
  • $ service httpd restart

Welcome

Welcome everyone. This blog has only one real purpose, to describe how to setup common Linux problems in order to host secure and robust web servers. I have every intention of making the descriptions as simple yet detailed as possible. The simplicity and details are not for your help, rather they are to remind me how to do this stuff again the next time I have to set up a web server.

Lastly, any contact information provided may not be checked as often as it should be. It isn’t my primary contact info for spam and sales protection.