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Thread: Forum Server Move

  1. #1
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    Default Forum Server Move

    Many of you have noticed database errors in the past six weeks or so. They have been sporadic for months, but they were especially irritating in February. I think we have the problems more or less under control at the moment, but the situation is not stable. This is a result of the growth in forum usage we have seen in recent months.

    To resolve this problem we have made arrangements for a more robust server. For the technically minded, it has more Apache processes and more MySQL database connections that will be available to us.

    We have copied the latest version of the vBulletin software to the new server and tests suggest that it is functioning well. There are some other pieces involved in this move which makes the process quite complex.

    When we make the move, we will need to shut down the forums for hours....perhaps as many as 48 or longer. This is necessary because of domain name "propagation". The new server has a different IP address, and it takes time for the IP address change to "propagate" through the Internet.

    When the time comes to move, you will be unable to access the forums, and we will provide a simple information page telling what is happening.

    I had hoped that we could make this move today, but as usual, additional complications have arisen. It may take a few more days.

    As new information comes along, I'll post it here.

    David
    Last edited by Webmaster; 03-12-2008 at 12:00. Reason: Added info

  2. #2
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    Default Changes...

    Yeah, well, life is full of changes. We all do them for the betterment of what we do. I'm still writing books, but the third (completed but not editied) has nothing to do with fish. The fourth does, but the biggest change is this one: http://www.literacyauthor.com.

    Hope you are pleased with your new server...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

  3. #3
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    Default Next week

    I communicated this morning with our tech whiz, and it looks as if the project must necessarily wait until next week. The project is far from simple, involving a number of sub-projects.

    As I was trying to send this message, I ran into some database errors myself....it's time.

    David

  4. #4
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    Default

    Will it still be v.Bulletin? If it can be changed, I'd suggest UBBthreads (http://www.ubbcentral.com/). That appears to be state-of-the-art software.

  5. #5
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    Default Yes...vBull

    Yes....we're staying with vBulletin. We'll have the latest version and patches when the job is done.

    David

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenaimike View Post
    Will it still be v.Bulletin? If it can be changed, I'd suggest UBBthreads (http://www.ubbcentral.com/). That appears to be state-of-the-art software.

  6. #6
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    Exclamation More delay on the server move....

    We have run into some additional complex software problems. As I talked to Debbie about this today, I told her to not worry about the time that it takes so she can focus on getting a forward-looking installation.

    Also, our forum software (vBulletin) is on the cusp of a version upgrade from 3.6.x to 3.7.0 and I want us to be as ready as we can be to take advantage of that when the time comes. New versions usually bring improved running characteristics and additional useful features.

    So...for now, we'll have to put up with "issues" a little longer, but I believe we're going to see a better running system when this process is complete.

    David

  7. #7
    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Default

    Not knowing the intracacies of your particular vB installation (but having quite a bit of experience with vB, and serving it myself) it seems it would minimize downtime if you did the following:
    1) halt the forum in AdminCP on server A
    2) move forum content from server A to server B
    3) move forum's mySQL database from server A to server B
    4) place a 301 redirect in the .htaccess file for forums.outdoorsdirectory.com on server A pointing to the numeric IP address for server B
    5) turn on forum in AdminCP at server B
    6) when the server log for server A shows a lack of activity and no more accesses taking place for forums.outdoorsdirectory.com, you'll know the DNS has propogated, and you can safely discontinue use of server A.

    I recently considered a move of my vBulletin based forum, and that's how the techs at HostGator had explained the process. Depending on the size of your database and overall file structure, this shouldn't create more than a few minutes to a few hours of downtime while you transfer the files. Theoretically, you could transfer all but the mySQL tables while the forum was still live, get everything running, then use SSH or FTP to transfer the (inactive) database when everything else was ready.

    Okay, that's enough free tech support advice for one day. I'm sure the ODD setup is much more complicated and I'm over simplifying things.

    Oh, and for anyone asking for a different type of forum software, I ran my forums on a version of UBB before I gave up and set things up on phpBB instead. Both are great "free" forum tools, but lack much of any support and many of the features that vBulletin comes with standard. I'm sure everyone here has way better things to do than hack their forum software just to get a few of the features we're used to having now!

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
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    Default Moving blues....

    Debbie and I have had a similar conversation about this. You're right....it's complicated. As a former colleague used to say, "I don't understand everything I know about this."

    One of the complications is that we're migrating from MySQL 3.x to 4.1.x so that we can run the newest version of the software that operates the Outdoors Alaska Store. We may have to reinstall vBulletin...not sure....Man1c M0g is going to help with this part of it, as he has other upgrades in the recent past.

    Also, since we are moving from a virtual private server to a managed private server with other customer websites, I don't think we would be able to just 301 to an IP address, unfortunately. We needed an MPS to get the level of Apache processes that we need.

    And the forums database is well over 300 mb....so it takes a while to move that hog.

    Thanks for the ideas on this, Case. I'll pass them on to Debbie to see if this sparks something else in her thinking.

    David

  9. #9
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    Any chance we will get larger PM boxes with the move?

  10. #10
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    Default

    They do fill up fast. The moderators have extra large PM boxes, and they still have problems.

    It is possible to save your PMs to disk as text files, and then delete the old ones. That's what I do.

    David

  11. #11
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    Exclamation Move expected 3/27 or 3/28

    It looks as if we will be able to make the Server Move late this week. Last minute difficulties could force another postponement, but at this point it's looking like a go.

    As indicated in an earlier post, the forums will likely be "off the air" for about a day when the move happens.

    David

  12. #12

    Default Thanks

    Well, I, for one, really appreciate your efforts in producing, maintaining and overseeing such a terrific site. I have been involved in a number of different forums over the years, everything from motorcycles to cigars and, of course, firearms and outdoor activities. Yours is, hands down, the best I've ever used. Thank you for all your efforts and I look forward to many more years of enjoyable interaction.
    Warren Troy - mauserboy

  13. #13
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    Not bad webmaster!! I assume the move went well since it is back up in less than a day.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up Up on the new server

    Thanks for the kind words, gentlemen. I appreciate them.

    We may yet have some bugs to squash, but at least we're live again. It will take up to 24 hours before everyone "sees" the new server, so participation will run low for a day or two.

    David

  15. #15
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Smile upand running

    Oh man, I get to dallas flying out of Biloxi this morning, 7 hour layover so im thinking, now i can spend some time surfing the forums. I saw they were down for the move but glad they are back. I only missed about 2 hours of play so i can surf my little brains out. 15 days on the road im so ready to come home. Checked the web cam at sportmans kenai looks nice and hoping to take the boat down next week and store it with the camper then hit willow in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for the hard work and great site.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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