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History Of Centmin Mod From 2011

Discussion in 'Centmin Mod Insights' started by eva2000, May 10, 2022.

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  1. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    It's been 11+ years since Centmin Mod came into this world. There's probably a guestimate of at least 30,000 to 100,000 Centmin Mod LEMP stack powered websites that have at one time been on the internet. Centmin Mod is used by some web hosts and some high traffic adult/XXX sites and also powers ~10% of the largest Xenforo forum communities on the internet!

    Centmin Mod is a fork of the original BTCentral's Centmin Project back in 2011 on Webhostingtalk.com forums [[Centmin - a low memory CentOS install script | Web Hosting Talk]]. The original Centmin Project would be the motivation for me to try low-end VPS servers with less than 512MB of memory for the first time. The challenge of squeezing out the most performance from low-end server specifications, allowed me to learn even more about tuning and optimizing servers for performance.

    I decided to document some of Centmin Mod's history and outline some of the formative milestone dates and thought Centmin Mod users would find this interesting :) Centmin Mod didn't really pick up steam into 2016-2017 in terms of popularity and awareness at which point I started putting more of my free time into Centmin Mod development.


    Background


    • My professional journey started in 2001 when I started working for vBulletin forum software creator Jelsoft doing technical support for their vBulletin forum software. So yes, I've worked remotely for the past 21yrs and counting - preparing me well for the Covid pandemic's work from home era!
    • I was originally a vBulletin customer first in 2000 until Jelsoft owners asked if I wanted to work for them due to my contributions and help on their support forums.
    • In 2000 I jumped into the deep end with no hosting or Linux experience and bought vBulletin license to migrate and import my 3rd party hosted forum. I bought a dedicated server from Rackspace Managed hosting provider with Redhat, Apache 1.x, PHP 4.x and MySQL 3.23 on an AMD K6-2-450Mhz server and the forum constantly crashed due to high concurrent forum traffic loads with up to 5,000+ new posts/day and 500-1000 users online at a time. Sometimes the server would crash and be offline for a few days! It would force me to learn the Linux server management ropes very quickly. I became obsessed with reading and learning about every configuration trick and optimization to squeeze every ounce of performance out of my server to be able to handle the growing loads. This experience ultimately shaped where I am now :) Everything I do now has been self-taught as my education wasn't even remotely in the same field - Bachelor's degree in Commerce with electives in Pyschology and Political Science and didn't even own my first computer until my 1st year in university!
    • Working at vBulletin in tech support for over a decade allowed me an opportunity to work with some of the largest forum communities on the internet at the time. While vBulletin's official stance was they only provided support for the software and server-side support was outside of their support agreement, they did allow me to offer my own private consulting services to these vBulletin customers to fix and provide solutions to their server-side performance and scalability issues. I learnt a lot about properly configuring and scaling servers for forum type high user concurrency workloads. At the time, static caching wasn't a common option in most cases. Cloudflare didn't even exist back then in the early days! Over the course of a decade, I probably helped and logged into 1000s of vBulletin customers' servers :D I've worked with forums that had 60,000 concurrent forum users online, 500,000 unique IP visitors/day and up to 15,000+ PHP requests/sec and that was even before Cloudflare existed!
    • It was in 2011 that I started learning about Nginx web server as up to that point I only used Apache or Litespeed Enterprise web server. During my Nginx adventures, I came across BTCentral's Centmin Project for LEMP stack autoinstaller on Webhostingtalk forums. I was excited by the potential Centmin Project could have when I started modifying it for my own usage needs - pouring all my decades worth of knowledge from vBulletin forum high user concurrency based server optimization and tuning. The rest is history and now for my own usage, Centmin Mod is used on 99% of all my own servers and saves me an equivalent of US$65K per year in cPanel licensing costs :cool: There are some Centmin Mod users now that started out using my original fork in 2011 and followed me ever since :D
    • Centmin Mod is the first ever open source project I have worked on and maintained. It is also my first time using Git as well. So a lot of noob learning experiences - especially with product versioning/naming, product release cycles and changelog documentation :LOL:
    • I've been using Cloudflare since 2011 too, so 11yrs as a Cloudflare customer.
    • In 2018, I became an official Cloudflare community MVP - an unpaid position that helps Cloudflare users on their community forums and as one of the first group of Cloudflare MVPs, I get to work more closely with Cloudflare's teams and get to learn more about their products and services (both present and future planned) and provide feedback. This deeper learnt insight and knowledge into Cloudflare's product and service offerings also adds value to my paying clients wanting to improve their Cloudflare configuration and performance and also for me to work on adding deeper integration between Centmin Mod and Cloudflare's product and services eventually ;) I've been a Cloudflare MVP for 5yrs now and learnt a lot and looking forward to learning even more in 2022 and beyond.
    • My day job is still the same work basically which covers the majority of my Centmin Mod development and operating costs. I provide paid private consultancy work for server optimization and web server/web hosting recommendations/advice/testing to clients. Many of the clients are still in the forum community/server segment i.e. Xenforo forum clients who moved over when they jumped ship from vBulletin after InternetBrands acquired vBulletin and some for Wordpress. Though there's a growing list of paid client work born from Centmin Mod users themselves that require more of my expertise for their usage cases :D

    2011



    2012



    2013


    • Throughout 2013, I would work on Centmin Mod only when I had free time away from my paid everyday work.

    2014



    2015


    • July 31, 2015 - 123.08stable release with backported updates, fixes until 124.00stable release
    • August 12, 2015 - 123.09beta01 started with eventual native cmupdate command line Git based continuous updates which went on for a record 6yrs 9 months until 130.00beta01 release. Continous commits to 123.09beta01 code would be updated by end users using cmupdate command.

    2016-2021


    • Continued Centmin Mod development and commits to the official Centmin Mod Github repository with predominant feedback from the official Centmin Mod community forum's users and my own clients.
    • November 3, 2020 - Officially started Centmin Mod's Wordpress blog at Centmin Mod Blog -. Prior to this date, the domain was testing a Wordpress blog for lower memory VPS usage as a demo only.

    2022


    • May 8th, 2022 - 124.00stable and 130.00beta01 release. Will have to do much better for Centmin Mod versioning updates and the new releases have updated cmupdate command which made 123.09beta01 to 124.00stable update easier. This updated cmupdate command should make it easier to switch to newer minor branch versions in future.
     
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