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New server Server moving to new provider. Outages may occur in the next time.

#1 User is offline   benb 

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  Posted 19 September 2008 - 02:36 PM

This board is now hosted on a different server (computer), at a different company, in fact a different country.

Reasons:
We were fed up with the old company. Also, the server hardware was horribly outdated. We had a Celeron from 6 years ago with 512 MB RAM and 60GB harddrive. There was no better, more contemporary offer for the same price. Current offers from other companies are both cheaper and offer current hardware. We currently use over 30GB of data, plus the operating system with 5-10 GB, so it was about time to do something and get better hardware. Plus the impudent level of service. So, I decided together with chucker and Danny to move to a new provider.

The new provider is Hetzner, a German company (with the server standing in Germany, too).

I am currently setting up the server and moving services over to the new one.
Steps:
1. Set up base OS (done)
2. Move mystcommunity webserver to new server (done)
3. At this point, the website will be served by the new server, but many people will not yet see the new server, because the DNS system, which translates "www.mystcommunity.com" to an IP address like 216.127.69.124 (old) or 78.46.195.12 (new), takes a while until all DNS servers (particularly the secondary authorative DNS server) have the new address. In laymen terms, the Internet takes a while to notice that the website is now on a new server. (We are in this period right now)
To complete the move, we also need to:
4. Move authorative DNS server to new server
5. Change DNS entry for domains at .com/.org/... registry to new server
6. Shut down old server and hope that nothing was still using it

You don't have to understand what steps 4-6 mean (well, I guess 6 is clear :-) ), but each of these steps can go wrong in unexpected ways (for example, I didn't realize that step 3 would take so long), that's why I list them explicitly.


The setup of the new server is costing me far more time than I hoped, I am on this since way over 40 hours already, and I am not done yet.

The later steps also need to be leave time in between them, because servers all across the Internet (your providers) cache them, and I need to do it carefully, checking every step, so it will take a month or so for all to be completed. As said, the steps are, despite all care, nevertheless risky, so please expect some problems and downtimes.

Please post any problems that appear in the next month or so (only those which did not exist before the move). I am reachable by mail or phone by the admins.

Wish me luck :D :arianna:

Ben
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#2 User is offline   Jerle 

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 02:46 PM

Smooth transition so far, thank you very much, Ben! :arianna:
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#3 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 02:57 PM

Is this why MYSTlore seems to be down?
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#4 User is offline   benb 

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 03:03 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Sep 19 2008, 10:57 PM, said:

Is this why MYSTlore seems to be down?


Yes, applies to all websites. It's down for you only when you end up at the old server. I disabled the board and now mystlore, to prevent new posts on the old server. Only for the static websites the transition is not visible, because the content is the same on both servers.
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#5 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:07 AM

Man, this new server screams. :arianna:

Thanks a bunch, Ben.
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#6 User is offline   Arianna 

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:47 PM

Cool beans, Ben.
Thanks for the update and for all your hard work!

I hope Chucker gave you a raise? :arianna:
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#7 User is offline   Jerle 

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 02:17 PM

Only thing that seems screwy to me is the time settings... I've had to change to an Alaska time zone when I'm east coast US and it's still 20 min off. :arianna:
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#8 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 02:39 PM

The minute seems correct now, but I still can't get it to use the correct time zone. Weird.
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#9 User is offline   ZangieF 

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 04:14 PM

Me neither, it says you posted at 1:55 PM, which hasn't even happened for me yet. It's still only 11:16 AM here. I'm willing to trade that for the speed of the new German server, though.
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#10 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:23 PM

Theeeere, that's better. Only catch: the recent posts still have wrong timestamps. I don't think fixing that is worth the hassle. :arianna:
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#11 User is offline   benb 

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  Posted 20 September 2008 - 07:54 PM

Clock was wrong by over an hour. I think it's OK, now, though.

Clock had a drift of 3 minutes within less than 10 minutes. That's quite off. I think that's due to the virtual host (we have a pyhsical host, but each service runs in a virtual machine). I saw this before elsewhere. The virtual host lives in an unreal world, so it's no surprise that its notion of time gets out of sync with real world. There must be a solution, e.g. the virtualizer talking with the virtual host, or something.
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#12 User is offline   zabacad 

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 08:30 PM

Thankyouthankyouthankyou. I was getting kinda annoyed at the old server. Especially the whole sorry, you can only get on the site when it feels like it issue.

P. S. I work in the tech. department at my school. The first few weeks are 100% crazy-busy, so I'm one in wishing you luck!
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#13 User is offline   Jerle 

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 11:26 PM

I saw the future and it was......boring, silly and not much different than right now. gloooorious!!! :arianna:
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#14 User is offline   benb 

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  Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:02 AM

View PostJerle, on Sep 22 2008, 07:24 AM, said:

it was......not much different


That everything works exactly as it did before was the goal! ;-)

---

Clock problem: Indeed KVM has a way to communicate the clock to the virtual machines. It works out of the box for all virtual machines - apart from mystcommunity one, because that is using an old kernel. I tried to compile a newer kernel, but it didn't boot. Will have to try again another day.

---

The DNS server is now ready to be migrated. chucker, I'll tell you in an email what to do.
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#15 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 09:48 AM

So was it just me, or was Mc out last night (past 5 something Pacific Time)? And it was just when I was adding a reply (which I just checked and it didn't post) :arianna: I crashed Mc! :D

Oh yeah, and I can't get to the Book of Gemedet. So far, just that one subforum. :D
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#16 User is offline   benb 

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 08:41 AM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Sep 25 2008, 05:46 PM, said:

I crashed Mc! :D


Oh, that was *you*!
Would you mind not posting anymore, so that the server stays up? Thanks a lot.

(Just kidding.)

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Sep 25 2008, 05:46 PM, said:

Oh yeah, and I can't get to the Book of Gemedet. So far, just that one subforum. :arianna:


That should not be related to the server, that's merely a forum thing -> chucker.

Sorry that I didn't fix the clock yet.
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#17 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 09:05 AM

Actually, the problem with Book of Gemedet was likely a crashed table, so very well may have been related to the RAM issue.

The clock seems fine now. (I've adjusted it by a few minutes.)
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#18 User is offline   benb 

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  Posted 27 September 2008 - 11:14 AM

The clock still has an extreme drift (30 s off within 3-4 min).

I tried several newer kernels from 2.6.26 and newer, and they all don't boot. They claim to mount the root filesystem fine as XFS, but then don't find init. I found one guy who has the same problem, but unlike for him, going back to 2.6.26 did not help.
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#19 User is offline   ZangieF 

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 03:28 PM

Ooh, we're running UNIX servers, are we? ^_^
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#20 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 04:30 PM

View PostZangieF, on Sep 28 2008, 11:26 PM, said:

Ooh, we're running UNIX servers, are we? ^_^


Debian GNU/Linux, to be exact. (Since mid-2002, that is.)
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#21 User is offline   benb 

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  Posted 28 September 2008 - 04:38 PM

View PostZangieF, on Sep 28 2008, 11:26 PM, said:

Ooh, we're running UNIX servers, are we? ^_^


Yes. To be exact, this web server is running on a TomTom device, which is running Linux. I installed apache and PHP on it. The old server was running on a NetGear router with Linux, but the TomTom has better CPU and more RAM and disk space.
The advantage is that they both use very little rack space.
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#22 User is offline   ZangieF 

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 10:44 PM

Ooh, cool. That explains something that I think I should let you know about.

Every so often (say, around once a month) I do security checks on critical parts of the forum– index.php, posting pages, and the like. Nothing real intensive, just basics like SQL vulnerabilities and a port scan. I've been baffled on occasion as to why nothing turns up a lot of the time– it's that we're not on IIS. I commend you for not choosing a Microsoft product.
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#23 User is offline   Free Bird 

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 04:28 PM

Gullible people are so much fun... :arianna:
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#24 User is offline   ZangieF 

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 04:07 PM

I'm not quite sure how that post was really apropos of mine or the ones before it. Clarification?
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#25 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 04:18 PM

View PostZangieF, on Oct 1 2008, 12:05 AM, said:

I'm not quite sure how that post was really apropos of mine or the ones before it. Clarification?


It sounded like you believed benb's claim that we're running on a navigation system.
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