Author Topic: New Server Coming Soon  (Read 80111 times)

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fesworks

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #105 on: September 04, 2007, 01:22:04 am »
*prods the main topic*

Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #106 on: September 04, 2007, 01:45:40 am »
Heh... Okay, status. Got most of the web redesign done, so we're gonna have a new look. Got most of my back-end scripts written for the new system as well, so the actual management functions seem to be working. I've also created all the accounts for the users being migrated, all I'll have to do there is sync their data once the machine is live. What I've really got left is a final software/kernel update (super easy, just waiting 'till the last moment) and to write a web UI to work on top of the management functions... basically the front-end that you currently see as the "Account Management" interface. Shouldn't be too hard, as I do have most of the visual design solved. I hope to ship the server off in the next few days, but that depends on how much real-world work I've got to do. The project we're working on it about to start, so it's usually not much to do, interspersed with calls to "go and drop off this super-important permit right away!"

fesworks

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #107 on: September 04, 2007, 09:50:34 am »
cool :D because I have a new application being prepped ;)


John

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #108 on: September 07, 2007, 12:15:37 am »
Heh, can't wait. Got an application just begging to be posted.
DAAHHHH! I make gaming webcomics, maybe that's why I'm insane...

Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #109 on: September 08, 2007, 02:26:35 am »
I imagine you're not the only one waiting...  Also, new applications won't be immediately open after the new server goes online. I need to make sure it's stabilized first. It'll probably be an additional week before I open applications... though I could probably open them right away, I just wouldn't be able to get around to reviewing them really for that extra week. I do apologize for this long delay. I never meant for this to take so long, but... well, I have no real excuse. I'll try and update status here a bit more often though.

Currently, I've got half the web UI built... mostly the functions for receiving and parsing form input for various account settings. I have to make the actual input forms/html now, and then test everything to make sure there's no (at least obvious) way for it to screw up. Hopefully this weekend, if I get the time to work on it.

One possible snag I've hit though, the datacenter has changed their rate/pricing plans (again) and now the lower priced plan (that's most similar to the one the current server has been on) limits to a 2U server. The case for the new one I've built is 3U, as the previous pricing plan said "4U or smaller." Additionally, they charged me (without warning) $20 more this month than last month. I'm going to get in touch with them, and see what they'll work out for me on both this overcharge and on getting the new server in place. If they won't flex though, the cost for the new plan that this server would fit on is $169/month... previously, I've been paying $109. Probably not a show-stopper either way, but I'd really LIKE to get it resolved without paying $60 more than I am now for the same level of service.

Databits

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #110 on: September 08, 2007, 04:36:52 am »
Don't they grandfather? Kinda bad business to just raise your rates and charge people more without notice, is that even legal?
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Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #111 on: September 08, 2007, 10:31:48 pm »
Don't know about illegal, but definitely bad business. Last year, they raised it $10, but they sent out a notice more than a month in advance. I'm hoping it was just a clerical error, since they switched to a new billing system recently, and my grandfathered-in pricing plan hasn't existed for years now, so someone probably thought they were just fixing a mistake.

reinder

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #112 on: September 09, 2007, 05:55:25 am »
This is probably as good a time as any to mention that I'll have some money waiting for you when my first paycheck comes in. It's been a rough year for me but things are finally looking up.
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fesworks

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #113 on: September 09, 2007, 03:25:30 pm »
yes, once I get a few things figured out on my end, I'm planning on sending more too.

Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #114 on: September 09, 2007, 06:24:06 pm »
Before I say "cool" and "thanks" let me remind everyone that with the new server, the donation system is changing (going away.) That is, I'll still take donations directly for xepher.net, but will in no way require any percentage from people, nor handle donations for their sites (like the newsbox currently does.) Thus, everyone will be free to take donations (or not) for themselves on their site, keeping the full amount. You only need to donate to me/xepher.net if you wish to. The official date for that policy change will be the same as the changeover for the server, but far as I'm concerned, it's pretty much in effect now. So Reinder, Fes (and anyone else)... up to you if (and how much) you want to send on to me.

griever

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #115 on: September 10, 2007, 06:15:10 am »
I plan on keeping a donate button to Xepher.net on my site, although my past history of nil speaks for itself. :(  But who knows...maybe things will change.  I keep having my fingers crossed.
"You can get all A's and still flunk life." (Walker Percy)

fesworks

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #116 on: September 10, 2007, 02:05:02 pm »
Yea, I don't have a big user base to get donations, but I hope to make some wallpapers for all three comics soon, for $1 donations... those usually work, don't they?

Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #117 on: September 13, 2007, 07:35:37 pm »
A quick update for everyone... I got in touch with the sales department at the datacenter, asking about putting the new server in place and my "overcharge." They've raised rates on all customers/plans by $20, and they claim to have upgraded their backbone capacity significantly to justify this. There was an announcement on their forums about the price increase, but it was labeled (and email notice sent) as "Capacity upgrade!" and you had to read the full article to see the bit about the fees going up. Not the best business practice, but I can't fault them too much for it. As such, the minimum I'm gonna be paying is now $129/month. They say I'm on a bandwidth plan for a 5mbps connection currently. The new plan they have for 5mbit is $119, but it limits to a 2U server. I talked with sales and they said they'd let me keep the current plan even with the new 3U server. The other option is moving up to the $169/month plan, which is a full 100mbps port. That's technically 20x faster, but as it's shared bandwidth, it probably averages only 6x faster, but the burst speeds should be closer to 20x.

They've also given me the okay for having a week of overlap, letting me do the nearly-live migration (probably only a few hours of downtime) that I wanted... though they are a bit backed up, so if I want to do that (and I do) it can't be this next week. Unfortunately, I'm headed to India Oct. 2nd for about two weeks. I don't want to put a new server online, then leave the country just a few days later. I really think I need to be around/available in case any unexpected problems crop up. I know a lot of people are waiting to file new applications, and I apologize, but you're gonna have to wait a bit longer. I get back from India Oct. 15th. I should be able to ship the server on the 16th or 17th, bringing it online as soon as it gets to the datacenter, probably the week of the 21st. There is a _small_ chance I can get some free time this weekend, and manage to finish prepping the server. If so, I may send it off monday, leaving it with about a week online to flush out any bugs. I'm also going to see if I can find someone to hand root too while I'm gone. If I can pull off those two, it could be online before the end of the month. Keep in mind, that's a _small_ chance, but I'd prefer it to happen that way.

On the first issue, of bandwidth/pricing... I'm really tempted to go for the full 100mbps plan. Right now, the webserver is averaging 2-3mbps, with another 0.5 for email/misc. That's an average though, not a peak, and I think the peaks could be significantly higher (aka, faster) if the capacity was there. Also, with the new server, I'm hoping will go through another growth period, and the extra capacity might be a good idea. I just need to see if I can budget another $40/month (or $60, considering it just went up $20 anyway.) I was REALLY supposed to be "rolling in it" (money) by this point, and not having to worry about things like "budgets." Ah, but such is life. :-)

Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #118 on: October 25, 2007, 04:07:25 am »
Time for another update...

I'm just about done. My checklist is down to one major item, and then the last minute prep for shipping the thing. A few minutes ago I just pulled a wire from a running hard drive and everything still worked (yay raid!) and even rebooted just fine while short one drive. It's rebuilding the data on the "failed" drive right now. I've also done a cold-boot test of my kernel upgrade/reboot procedures, and it's got tri-level fallback in case of a boot failure. The automated backup system is all fully implemented, tested, and functional. It will automatically back up the entire main system (including all user files) every night. It'll keep daily backups for the full previous week, and then weekly backups for 6 weeks prior to that, all entirely automated. Thus, if anyone loses file, accidentally deletes stuff, or even gets their account hacked, I should be able to easily restore everything to the nearest day, or, at worst (if you don't notice for a week or more) the nearest week.

What I left is the one thing I've been putting off because I like it the least, and that is finishing the programming for the web UI to manage user settings. I will hopefully finish that tomorrow though. After that, I just have to set the IPs and other network settings I get from the datacenter and then ship it off. There will be the work of actually migrating the files once it's in place, but that should only take a day at most, and the actual downtime for the site should only be a couple hours. My plan right now is to ship the system off on friday, as I'm going out of town for the weekend, and it should go online monday or tuesday when I get back, with the actual switch-over happening midway through next week, probably wednesday or thursday.

I know it's taken me WAY longer than I ever planned to do this, and I apologize to everyone who's been waiting for new accounts and such. Hopefully everything will go as smoothly as I think, and we can get back up to full speed around here... start taking new applications and all that. Thank you all for being so patient with this whole process, and keep an eye out for the final notices about the switchover.

Databits

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #119 on: October 25, 2007, 01:10:30 pm »
Don't worry about it man. Everyone here, far as I know, had free hosting and can't really complain about the time it takes to put a new server in place since the costs are nearly, if not all, out of your pocket at the moment.
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