Running WordPress on AWS Lightsail: Part 1- The Reason (hint: Godaddy FAIL)

A few years ago, I moved over to Godaddy for blog hosting. Yes, I know now that Godaddy WordPress hosting is not good. Keep in mind, I’ve had this blog for 10 years with several different providers and when I moved it to Godaddy, they actually had a better service offering for the money. The operative word here is “had”. Not anymore.

Now that I’ve started blogging again, I quickly discovered that the Godaddy experience for WordPress hosting, well, it’s abysmal. I kept getting hosting timeouts when trying to create a post or just hitting the site. Over the last week, I saw this screen nearly more than any other screen.

The middle part of “Godaddy Firewall”  in the screen shot above originally said “Cloudflare Firewall” because I had Cloudflare set up as a firewall and CDN. I was getting the hosting timeouts and contacted Godaddy support.

Godaddy support immediately pointed the finger to Cloudflare when Cloudflare was clearly showing that it was the WordPress server not responding in a timely manner. So, I decided to eliminate Cloudflare and move everything over to Godaddy firewall/CDN so it would be all Godaddy top to bottom and eliminate the finger pointing.

Of course, this changed nothing. I spent my evenings after work on many support calls or chats last week with Godaddy.  We exhausted all their troubleshooting steps including me allowing them to blow the WordPress installation away and build it completely new.  I had the exact same timeout problems. To my amazement, with a completely new installation of WordPress hosting on Godaddy top to bottom not working any better than before we started, the support guy tried selling me cPanel as a solution. In fact, he was pushy about it. “Can I add this to your account? Can we proceed with adding cPanel?” Unbelievable.

I was clearly demonstrating that WordPress and specifically the wp-admin functionality (the admin screens in WordPress) literally wouldn’t allow me to create blog posts because it was so slow and timing out on a brand new installation. To get the support salesman to move on from sales mode, I questioned him if he thought that creating a blog post was considered basic or optional functionality of the Godaddy WordPress hosting or did they require you to purchase cPanel to do create a simple blog post?

To be fair, not all of the Godaddy support people were like this. I talked to 6 of them over the course of a week and most of them tried to help and were friendly and their response time was good. Note: I talked to 6 different Godaddy support people over the week for a basic WordPress hosting site.

So after a week of constant troubleshooting a simple Godaddy WordPress Hosting installation, I woke up on Sunday morning and decided to fix it. I moved it all over to WordPress on AWS Lightsail. It was done in 5 minutes and was the easiest server deployment I’ve done. Note: I had to talk to 0 support people for AWS install.

If anyone at Godaddy reads this, take this advice please. Tell your support people to never try to sell more services when the service the customer purchased already isn’t working and tell your WordPress team to do installations and eat their own dog food.  They’ll find its unacceptable.

Also, you will be put out of business by AWS or Azure if you don’t provide a better technical experience because AWS is providing a much better technical experience.  Customers will move off your platform very quickly. I did it on a Sunday morning while having my coffee. For example, I also run our church’s WordPress site on Godaddy and I’m moving it too.

In the next post in this series, I show how I deployed WordPress on AWS Lightsail.

Azure Quick Tip: What Do You Need in Azure for Zerto to Work?

One of the most frequent questions we get at Zerto is “What do I need in Azure to use Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR)?”

I find one of the easiest ways to visualize what Zerto is consuming in Azure is to pull up the Virtual Protection Groups (VPG) creation wizard in ZVR. For more on ZVR VPGs, see this great post from 

I’ve got a vSphere site paired to the Zerto Cloud Appliance (ZCA) in Azure that I deployed from the Azure Marketplace. I’ve pulled up the VPG wizard and picked Azure as the target location for protection. This screenshot shows what ZVR is looking for in Azure in order to protect the VMs:

Looking at the left column we see very straightforward infrastructure requirements: VNet, Subnet, Network Security Group (NSG), Virtual Machine Series and Virtual Machine Size. Simply put, ZVR needs a network created in Azure, at least one subnet, a firewall (NSG), and you to tell it what size VM do you want to create.

For more flexibility of choice, the Virtual Machine Series and Virtual Machine Size can be different for testing and for production.

I’m Back!

After a long absence, I’m going to start posting again. The funny thing is over the last few years, I’ve written more content than I ever have; but it’s all gone for my day job at Zerto. As a Senior Technical Architect, creating content is a constant.

We are working on so many cool things and more are coming every day. Zerto is becoming more of a platform rather than just a DR point product. So, I’m going to make an effort to share more Zerto things here as well as other stuff I find interesting.

$50M and Disruptive DR: Zerto Style

It’s hard to believe I’ve been at Zerto 3 1/2 years already.

We are really celebrating our recent funding announcement because it allows Zerto to continue to be able to rapidly change the way data protection for virtualization is done.

In 2015 we added Hyper-V and AWS and in early 2016, look for another exciting release Zerto Virtual Replication that brings even more features that will continue to change how many organizations think about data protection.

I also know what is coming later in the year, and all I can say for now is the fun is just beginning.

Thinking about Thought Leadership Conferences

I’ll be speaking in Austin, Texas at Tech Unplugged this week. As always, it will be good to catch up with the thought leaders and friends that will be in attendance.

That’s one of the greatest benefits of working in the IT industry. It’s so vast, that the areas of speciality each take on a smaller community personality. I’ve known many of the attendees for over 8 years or more.

I think that Eric at described it perfectly that even if we weren’t working with vendors there sponsoring the shows, we’d still go for the networking with peers opportunity.

Vendor conferences are necessary and do serve a good purpose. In fact, my personal favorite vendor conference last year was Amazon’s re:Invent. The sessions I attended were solutions driven, imaginative and some were downright thought inspiring. It’s been a long time since I could say that about a vendor conference.

I enjoy conferences like the Tech Reckoning gathering last fall that John Troyer hosted.  These events are focused on ideation and connecting dots not necessarily advantageous to a single vendor in the pursuit of creating something better.

Thinking is good.


Back from Sunny Jamaica

I just got back from the Zerto (@ZertoCorp) company kickoff. Wow, what a week! The sessions were informative and networking with Zertoians that have been around and all the newbies was fun.

2015 was a huge year for Zerto and we have some really cool things coming in 2016.

Now, back to the snow in Kentucky.


Convert text to upper or lower case with bash

I had a spreadsheet with a list of lower case names that I needed to compare it with another spreadsheet with upper case names. I know there are lots of ways to do it, but I went to my Linux machine and was able to convert all the server names with a single line command in the bash shell.

cat FILENAME | tr “[:lower:]” “[:upper:]”

You could also drop this in a script as well if you are discovering servers.

echo $HOSTNAME | tr “[:lower:]” “[:upper:]”

Where is Big Data Headed?

I contributed to the question posed at Flarrio, Where is Big Data Headed?

Goodbye Lemmy and David

The grim reaper must be a country fan. He’s been a real jerk lately.


2016 Predictions: Cloudy with a Chance of Snowballs

I wrote this predictions for 2016 article for vmblog. The enterprise on premise customer is changing from a hypervisor platform mentality to a cloud mentality that is reminiscent of the physical to virtual mindset a few years ago.