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November 29, 2015 - The WonderProxy Story

A little over six years ago, Paul and I started this little company called WonderProxy to help companies do localization testing of their websites. We started with a single customer and a handful of servers, creating a service to fulfill their specific needs. Setting up servers took several hours of manual configuration and cleaning, and things weren't much better for our hosts.

The virtualization market has changed significantly in that time, and provisioning servers is much more of a push button operation for our hosts. Things are a lot better for us as well thanks to tools like Puppet, but we still have to prepare the image for our use which can still take a good amount of time if the host has decided to install a GUI. It's a server, why are you installing a GUI?

It has been a lot of fun to see this creation of ours continue to grow over the past six years. Our first customer is still a customer, and they've been joined by a number of others over the years. The handful of servers we had has ballooned to more than 180 proxy servers and another few dozen servers performing support roles for our infrastructure. I've learned a lot as the sole sysadmin for our network: rule #1 if you know Debian, don't use anything else :) There are some good stories about the few CentOS servers we had (Rosario and Seoul) or the one Ubuntu server (Tokyo - it's practically Debian, how hard could it be?) we had, but needless to say they all eventually ended in abject failure and we're now a 100% Debian network. If you're a provider and your datacenter isn't in a city we list here please send me an email!