ServerGenie Cloud Servers and Managed WordPress Hosting

We are still looking at hosting providers! We are more than happy with DigitalOcean‘s offering so far but have also just spied ServerGenie – a managed hosting provider based in Oklahoma.

The company also now offers fully managed WordPress hosting that’s insanely fast and infinitely scalable.  Plans start at only $20 per month and include free migration from a client’s old hosting provider regardless of the number of blogs and domains to be moved.

ServerGenie’s entire customer support staff are WordPress and cPanel experts who are able to instantly assist a client with any hosting issues twenty-four hours a day – while we haven’t had reason to test this yet, reports are good and we are confident.

The company’s fully managed WordPress hosting accounts are hand-tuned to deliver the fastest WordPress experience available.  A representative for ServerGenie said, “Our cloud servers also give us the capability to scale your sites with zero downtime in case of heavy usage or during the holidays when Internet shoppers are at their peak.”

In today’s technologically advanced world website load speed matters a great deal.  In fact, Google recently reported that slower sites lose about 20% of their traffic for each additional 100 milliseconds it takes a page to load into an Internet browser.  Google changed its algorithm several times last year.  One of those changes incorporates a website’s page-load time into its rankings so that only the fastest sites are displayed on the search engine results pages.

The company’s free migration assistance includes moving a client’s website, email, and all configurations from their previous web host.  The company’s representative said, “We’re so confident that we provide the best fully managed WordPress hosting services that we give each new client 30 days to test it, and if they don’t like it, we will move them back to their old host or a provider of their choice for free.”

Small business owners who are experiencing hosting issues with their current provider are encouraged to visit ServerGenie’s website to read more about the company’s fully managed WordPress hosting options.  There is always a customer service rep available to answer questions via a live chat, email or on the phone.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, ServerGenie operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. ServerGenie has partnered with SoftLayer Technologies to provide all data center management. SoftLayer’s network spans 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe and a global footprint of network points of presence. ServerGenie’s modular architecture provides unparalleled performance and control, and sophisticated automation controlling a flexible platform that seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices, and a global network for secure, low-latency communications. For more information, please visit or call 1.800.560.3450.

Checkpoint: Object Filler and Object Dumper (ofiller)

This article offers a download of Martin Hoz’s (Checkpoint SE) Ofiller tool and describes basic usage.

The package software can be downloaded here:


There is full documentation in the package but a quick look at page 53 of the manual yields the following:

odumper -f file [-p file] -o file [-d] [-html] [-v]
-f specifies the path to the objects (Objects_5_0.C or objects.C) file you want to process
-p specifies the path to the rulebases (rulebases_5_0.fws) file you want to process - Optional
-o specified the path to the output formatted file you want to have
-d tells the program to also print the default objects - Optional
-html formats the output to HTML (instead of default CSV format) - Optional
file is a valid filename - such as output.txt, output.html or objects.C
Required parameters: -f and -o

** Important ** – Run this on copies of the files and not against the files on the live firewall!

  • To dump objects only:

odumper -f copy_of_Objects_5_0.C -o my_objects.csv

  • To dump rules only:

odumper -p Copy_of_rulebases_5_0.fws -o my_rules.csv

  • To dump both rules and objects to the same file:

odumper -f copy_of_Objects_5_0.C -p Copy_of_rulebases_5_0.fws -o my_objects_and_rules.csv


Note: If you are dumping these to re-import on another management centre then dump rules and objects individually as per the first two examples.

Linux: Hot Clone a Live *nix Machine

This article describes how to clone a live production linux server to a VM on ESX infrastructure although it is the same process to clone to another physical machine.

Prepare the Target Machine

Prepare a new server on ESX debian 32 bit machine, same hdd size etc:


In the past I’ve always used the DSL (Damn Small Linux) distro to boot from but this time I noticed that it didn’t pick up the hard drive on ESX so rather than mess around I tried Puppy Linux – it’s 160 MB compared to DSL’s 50MB but the hassle factor decided it for me and I’m very happy with it 🙂  puppy


Check your fstab:


root@localhost:~# cat /etc/fstab
LABEL=DOROOT       /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1

root@localhost:~# blkid /dev/disk/by-label/DOROOT
/dev/disk/by-label/DOROOT: LABEL="DOROOT" UUID="2c342fc9-3fcd-42fb-a837-1135ce07fe9c" TYPE="ext4"

Here we only have one filesystem to worry about – “/” – so it should be a straightforward exercise.

Make a single partition on our new VM (no swap partition on original – might need to address this)


# fdisk /dev/sda (may be different to sda in your case, check your dmesg output)

Then “n” to add a new partition and accept the defaults for the start and finish – these will be the whole device. When done, enter “w” to write the partition to disk.

We also need to make it bootable so back into fdisk. “p” will print the partition table and here we can see /dev/sda1. Enter “a” to make a partition bootable and then the partition number; in this case we only have one partition butbasically you make the partition that contains “/boot” bootable. Again, enter “w” to write the partition to disk:


Format our partition using the same filesystem as our source machine – ext4 in this case:


Make a mount directory (remember we’re still in puppy linux in memory) and mount the hard drive partition(s) to it. Then create our other parts of the filesystem – dev, sys, proc and tmp:


Copy the Live System to the Target Machine

Make sure VM has connectivity to live source machine and perform the rysnc:


    rsync -aHxvz root@* /mount --exclude=/dev --exclude=/proc --exclude=/sys --exclude=/tmp

The switches used are as follows:

  • -a – archive mode – a shortcut to avoid using multiple switches and ideal for backups – serverfault has a good description.
  • -H – preserve hard links – not necessary for a backup but certainly for cloning
  • -x – preserve extended attributes
  • -v – verbose output – keep an eye on what’s going on
  • -z – although it’s not on the screenshot above, use this to enable end-to-end compression.

Modify the Filesystem Table (fstab) and Install Grub

Update the filesystem table (fstab) if necessary. This is currently under /mount/etc/fstab – info on the format can be found here.

fstabInstall the grub bootmanager using the following command:

# grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/sda1 /dev/sda

Once it’s done, say a quick prayer and reboot, hopefully job done!

** If, however, you run into errors (like the “/dev/sda does not have any corresponding BIOS drive” error) and you don’t have enough time or experience with grub configuration, my advice would be to download the most illustrious Boot Repair Disk and allow it to install / reconfigure your grub.

And then it really is job done 🙂

Cleaning Up!

Keyboard Map

For some reason, the keyboard map had changed, meaning that I my root password appeared to be wrong. Once I got logged in, a quick keyboard mapping sorted it out – easily done using the following command:

dpkg-reconfigure console-data

NIC Configuration

Your new machine will also have the same network configuration as your live one and will most likely need reconfigured – see the debian wiki for step-by-step instructions on how to achieve what you need. The main config file is /etc/network/interfaces.

/tmp Permissions

Make sure your /tmp directory has correct permissions set; you may not notice this until a daemon fails e.g. mysqld because it can’t write to the directory

# chown root:root /tmp
# chmod 1777 /tmp