If you want what you have now but.... then it’s got to be worth asking if they can do a P2V conversion of exactly what you have now and what the running cost of that VM would be going forwards.
I'd like the same capabilities I have now, the most essential being at least 2 GB of database, but I'd like to move forward to the latest software versions. My current server is stuck with an old OS because the Conroe can't upgrade to newer versions for some reason, and because I'm stuck with an old OS I can't upgrade the control panel, because newer versions of the control panel require newer OS versions.
I plan to start looking into a cloud server again soon. I just checked their webpage again and the cloud offerings are different from a couple months ago. I'm wondering why they provide so little detail. For example, I'd like to know what OS's and control panels they make available on the cloud servers, but they don't say. I wonder if you just get an empty cloud server that you have to set up as a webserver yourself.
Funny how complacency sets in after 18 years of nothing going catastrophically wrong. I hadn't backed up the database in 22 months. It's backed up now, and I'm downloading an extra copy to local storage.
I've investigated the cloud and that's where we'll be moving. Not sure how long it will take - it seems straightforward, but we'll see what happens (gee, now Trump's even got me saying it).
Moving to the cloud shouldn't cause any observable change for users, but we will have to go down for about an hour when I make the transition. Once I shut down the website at the old server the most time consuming portion will be saving the database to a file (it'll be around 1.9 GB) and transferring that file to the new server.
It might also be necessary to use the new IP address instead of the URL for a couple days while it propagates to nameservers. I'll post anything interesting that comes up to this thread, and I'll issue an announcement when the time comes.
Just some brief status. The cloud server is all set up, has been for a while, but I took a hiatus as we got closer to Christmas. As part of the testing I've just now set the cloud server to use the database on the old server, making it possible for me to post messages from the cloud server to the discussion board, which is why you're seeing this.
Here's what will happen when I'm ready to switch over to the new cloud server:
I'll send out an announcement that we're making the switch and that the board will be going down for an hour at a specified time. Unfortunately the amount of lead time I can provide will probably be only an hour or so. I have some other things going on that make my time availability unpredictable.
Shut down board.
Copy database on old server to a file.
Copy database file to cloud server.
Load database file into cloud server's database.
Update the database access information on both the old server and the cloud server to be for the database on the cloud server.
Copy over to the cloud server any new avatars people might have uploaded.
Update the nameserver information at the registrar's. The updated information will take 12-72 hours to propagate to Internet root servers (TLD (Top Level Domain) servers) around the globe. Those who have access to dig can use "dig evcforum.net +short" to see if the transition has happened for them. The old IP is 126.96.36.199, and the new IP will be 188.8.131.52.
Open the board. Total down time is estimated to be about an hour.
We have switched over to the cloud server, though there may be some with straggling root servers that are still using the old server. You can tell whether you're using the old server or the new cloud server by looking at the address box at the top of your browser. If it begins with "http" then you're still using the old server. If it begins with "https" then you're using the new cloud server.
Why "https" instead of "http"? The "s" on the end stands for "secure". All interactions with the website are now secure. The possibility of any data being stolen is much diminished, including passwords.
You can still access the website using "http". The software will automatically switch it over to "https". You can also access the website as just "evcforum.net". The software will automatically switch it over to "https://www.evcforum.net".
I just noticed that YouTube videos posted before 15 minutes ago aren't displayed because the software used "http" instead of "https". I'm going to fix all old messages in the database to use "https" for YouTube.
Post a note to this thread if you notice any other issues.
The vast majority of YouTube videos now have a 16:9 aspect ratio, so I have changed the [utube] and [youtube] dBCodes to also have this aspect ratio as the default. The actual pixel size is 599x337. Naturally you can specify any size you want. For example, this [utube] code produces a size of 400x300:
How efficient is this cloud server? Is it easy to use on your end? Is it safer than the old ones that used to go down all the time? (not hackable) How much data can it handle?
Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain " ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo
Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity. In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.~Stile
The cloud server is faster and more reliable. We don't actually possess an actual physical server anymore. There is no EvC Forum dedicated server that physically exists and can be removed from the rack and placed on a lab bench like the old one. What we actually have is a set of resources in the cloud: 4 cores, 4GB ram, 160 GB disk. It can handle more data then we could ever generate. Even after nearly 20 years of messages the EvC Forum database only takes about 1% of total disk space.
Because we don't actually run on a specific machine we're protected against crashes - each request is funnelled to the next available cloud server. If a cloud server handling an EvC Forum request crashes then that request might be lost, but the website remains up. The crashed cloud server will automatically reboot and be ready to handle the next request, which could be for any website. If the crashed cloud server has a more serious problem it can be removed from service, fixed, then returned to service.
Managing a server in the cloud is both harder and easier. There are more options, but more functions are automatically taken care of. For example, OS and server control panel upgrades should be automatic. Note that we're now a secure website (uses https instead of http), and accomplishing that on the old server would have been more difficult.
Yesterday I installed an automatic firewall. It detects repeated failed attempts to access email accounts, webpages, or the server itself and blocks the IP address from further access. In less than a day 842 IP addresses have been blocked so far.
I'm renaming this thread "Moving to Cloud Server".
It has backups built in, but I don't see how they're useful because only the entire backup can be restored. There's very little documentation, so I don't know if the backup includes the MySQL database, though you'd think it should since the database must ultimately just be files somewhere on disk.