Osyrus III: The Search for Osyrus II
Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:52 PM
Our server reached EOL (end of life) in March. What that means is the server's hardware is outdated, and the company no longer provides support (meaning, its broke, they don't fix it). The plan was to move Osyrus over to a new server. I looked at various companies and found more problems than solutions. Our database was way out of control, almost 2 gb worth of data. No company will import or allow an IPB database that large (most require under 500mb). This is somewhat my fault, as I never archived old threads, removed closed threads, or split large threads. That type of cleanup is what keeps databases in line, whereas we were just growing with no means of control in site. We also had converted the database several times to new formats due to updates in IPS software and php releases, overtime that corrupts entries and is why we saw issues like login fails, and various weirdness with accounts. The last conversion being the worst of it. I also found most hosts to be unreliable with IPS boards based on user reviews. My conclusion was to move to IPS hosting, it is super stable, the same company that makes the boards software, relatively cheap (30-50 per month depending on traffic), and would allow the growth of larger databases.
My plan was to move to IPS hosting at the end of this current billing cycle, which is May 26th. Sadly, Sunday night, our primary hard drive died, and the server went into a safety mode, switching to backup. It also decided that it would revert to an older build of Apache and PHP. Well that fucked me. We were on php 5.5 and without it, our database was totally inaccessible. I couldn't even get into it with command line shell access. I was finally able to rebuild the servers base software, and access the database, what I extracted is partial, and even a full dump with mysqldump produces a corrupt database that doesn't pass the various safety checks needed to import into the new site. The other issue is that databases size in the first place. While IPS will allow sites to grow on their servers, they don't help importing sites from other servers, nor do they allow large SQL imports. In the end, no matter what we were going to lose a good amount of post data. Even if I had the intact database, it would probably break the new site given the differences in a converted database and one that was fresh (as this one is).
There are some good things to come from this. We are now on IPS hosting, they make our software, so being hosted by them is ideal as the support is much better, the database will always remain, and there is no longer any server admin work. Even updates are applied automatically, if a SQL error comes up they will fix it before I even have time to report it. By far the best way of hosting an IPS site for longterm growth and stability. They also index better with Google, and are more searchable so we may see increased traffic from basic searches like "Phish discussion". It's cheaper, based on traffic. Right now I'm paying $30 a month, which gets you up to 30 active users at one time (we usually average 15-25). You can also increase your active users based on traffic, so if we started seeing 50 active at once, we would be bumped up to the $50 a month plan (they don't throttle users, or cut people off from login). The most we ever had active at once on Osyrus was 45. It's also a rolling average, which takes spikes into account (so if one day we see 70, that doesn't bump us up to $70 a month).
I apologize for what was, in my mind, inevitable. I couldn't continue to pay for our old hosting at the rate they wanted for a new server, and I had moved my business site to other hosting that falls in line with photo industry standards. My cost had been $160 per month and would have gone up to $200. The database had been worked over through the years, and was at a point where a clean wipe is the only way to ensure it doesn't fail in the future. Now we are in a more permanent location, at a substantially reduced cost, with overall better performance and long term stability.
Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:10 PM
Big D - you're the man! It sounds like you could have easily just let the OoO die. This is a much better solution. I kind of like the clean slate every few years. It's like an enema for our community.
Martin Scorsese: And what's it called?
LH: Rock and roll.
Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:55 PM
Damon, happy to hear that costs have come down, even if headaches continue to ensue. Your diligence and persistence with making us a home is always deeply appreciated.
Long Live 3.0!!
Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:14 PM
Wow, I have zero warning points? There's a first time for everything in life I suppose....
Not that you ever had warnings, but all warnings that were in the system are gone. That's a good clean slate for everyone I think, we also have no ban's in place (nor am I rebanning old members that might come back). Everyone still needs to remember this is a moderated community, and no changes to the rules have been made. So yes, some are getting a second chance, but that also means they have much less rope if a problem does arise.
Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:25 PM
If the site disappears on you that's the DNS updating. The site is fine, but it can take up to 72 hours for DNS to resolve across all servers, which can make the site intermittent depending on your location.
Yeah, I couldn't get it all day at work. But if finally kicked in. Huzzah!
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