Linux and PHP web application support and development (Bromsgrove, UK)

Examples of our work

Below is a few examples of work we’ve undertaken for some smaller customers.

Burton McCall

Burton McCall have a number of remote offices and warehouses around the UK. We’ve supported a Linux based mail server for them since 2006. This includes :

  1. Deployment of a 2 node Postfix cluster using DRBD for resilience / failover.
  2. Developed a minimal Postfix policy daemon for SMTP connection time rejection (based on the SMTP sender, SMTP recipient and client IP address) which includes SPF and DNS Blacklist checks.
  3. Development of custom SpamAssassin rules
  4. Provided telephone/email support as necessary for their end users
  5. Integration of Amavis into their Mail server, along with a support interface allowing IT support personnel to track emails and release those quarantined if necessary in response to support requests.

RedFern Media

RedFern approached us in mid-2012; they have no internal expertise in Linux administration and needed assistance with a Linux server they have hosted with 1and1.

We’ve :

  1. Introduced backup jobs
  2. Improved server performance (MySQL and Apache tuning) and reliability (resolving a VM bug/Linux kernel issue)
  3. Added remote monitoring of the server
  4. Restored from backups after 1&1 damaged the filesystem when deploying additional storage to the VM.


Axlr8 have been a customer for a number of years, we provide :

  1. Linux server support
  2. Exim support and integration with bespoke mail archiving application (mailtracker, mostly python)
  3. Setup of FTP file uploading portal (Virtual hosting ftp)
  4. Support for a custom mail archiving solution (components: Cassandra, Exim, Python, PHP, Perl)

The site has a relatively high level of traffic (averaging ~100 requests/second). It’s hosted from a single Linux server.

We’ve :

  1. Added backup jobs
  2. Added Munin graphing to give a visual respresentation of server load / resource usage
  3. Introduced Varnish to improve the scalability of the server – this helps it cope with spikes in traffic associated with new articles being read/seen on Twitter/Facebook etc.
  4. Optimised some underlying WordPress database tables (e.g. migrating to InnoDB to improve performance (reduce locking))
  5. Rewritten some underlying WordPress plugins so statistics are accurately recorded even if a static HTML page is being served to the client.
  6. Performed performance tuning of MySQL and improved the queries which were being run (e.g. through creation / addition of indexes on tables or improving the caching of repetitive or expensive queries)
  7. Added the server onto our Nagios monitoring setup, which checks disk/load/http availability
  8. Configured kernel I/O schedular to resolve issue with ProLiant RAID controller.