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Author Topic:   Moving to Cloud Server
Admin
Director
Posts: 12618
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.1


(2)
Message 1 of 52 (844946)
12-09-2018 5:01 AM


Some of you might have noticed that the website was down for around an hour or two earlier tonight and might be wondering what happened.

Well, it was just your typical Saturday evening, my wife cooking dinner in the kitchen, me tending the fire and doing just a little pre-dinner scan of the op-ed pieces, when the website went down. Not to worry, sometimes the Apache server goes down, just have to restart it. So I go to the server's control panel, but it's down, too.

That usually means the server itself is down, that it's crashed. This doesn't happen very often, and in fact it hasn't happened in at least a couple years, but after a couple years of continuously running without a single reboot (one of the huge advantages of a Linux server over Windows) it was overdue.

I had set up a server monitor with the webhosting company to send me an email if the server goes down, and normally I don't check for this email, I just make a reboot request, but this time I decided to check the email now. There was no email. So I went to the webhosting company's control panel for my server and checked the server monitor. It was set to use my work email, but I'm retired now and haven't used that email in a while. I have a gmail account for my alternate email. I updated the email address and then waited for five minutes (the monitor checks that your server's up every five minutes), but still no email.

So I opened up a chat with the technical services department of the webhosting company, asking why I wasn't getting any email notification that my server was down. I also submitted a reboot request through the control panel.

The chat guy said he'd be glad to help me, just give him a minute to look into it. When he came back he said he couldn't reach my server and that he'd have to switch me to the technical services guy on location at my server's site. But a few minutes later he came back and said he couldn't reach the technical services guy out there, that he must be in the server room. Then a few minutes after that he said that ticket #623075 had been opened for me and that I should monitor that for my server's status.

So I go back to the control panel and check the ticket status, and the technician says:

quote:
The server was off when I went out to it. I tried turning it on but it wouldn't post. I currently have it on the workbench so I can take a look at what is wrong.

I'll update you as soon as I have more info.


I append to the ticket, "Uh-oh. This doesn't sound good."

A few minutes later he replies:

quote:
Nope, it's fine! Either the motherboard or the CPU decided today was it's last day on Earth.

I went ahead and swapped your hard drive and NIC into another server of the identical type and it's booting up now.

Give it a couple of minutes and you should have access again.


I append to the ticket, "Pardon me if I'm amazed. Aren't servers of my type more than 10 years old?"

He answers:

quote:
At least that. I can't even recall when we started leasing out the Conroe. We don't offer them anymore on our website, but we do still have some for times like this.

The Conroe is an old model server they used to lease out, but still very capable, 4 processors, 4 GB memory, 200 GB disk, very nice. But they don't make them anymore, and it sounds like they're cannibalizing old Conroe servers to keep the ones still in service going. So we lucked out and EvC Forum marches on!

A few months ago I looked into moving from our old server into the Cloud, but we need a minimum 2 GB database, and no one could answer my question about how big a database they let you have in the Cloud, so I didn't pursue it any further. I think maybe it would be a good idea to look into this again.

Edited by Admin, : Renamed thread from "Dodging a bullet..." to "Moving to Cloud Server".


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Minnemooseus, posted 12-09-2018 6:03 AM Admin has responded
 Message 6 by Tangle, posted 12-09-2018 3:14 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply
 Message 7 by Straggler, posted 12-09-2018 6:42 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply

    
Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3749
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 2 of 52 (844949)
12-09-2018 6:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Admin
12-09-2018 5:01 AM


Date and time is way off
Says is currently 09-Dec-2018 6:00 am (when I refreshed page a few minutes ago).

Is actually 08-Dec-2018 10:13 pm (eastern time)

Moose

Edited by Minnemooseus, : Change 9:13 pm to 10:13 pm. I set my forum time display to eastern time even though I live in central time.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Admin, posted 12-09-2018 5:01 AM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Admin, posted 12-08-2018 11:15 PM Minnemooseus has responded

    
Admin
Director
Posts: 12618
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 3 of 52 (844953)
12-08-2018 11:15 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Minnemooseus
12-09-2018 6:03 AM


Re: Date and time is way off
Time problem should be fixed.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Minnemooseus, posted 12-09-2018 6:03 AM Minnemooseus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Tanypteryx, posted 12-09-2018 12:06 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply
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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2277
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 4 of 52 (844955)
12-09-2018 12:06 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Admin
12-08-2018 11:15 PM


It was just down again.Re: Date and time is way off
It was just down again.

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


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Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3749
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 5 of 52 (844956)
12-09-2018 12:09 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Admin
12-08-2018 11:15 PM


Re: Date and time is way off
Such a prompt reply and fix. Almost 7 hours before I sent the message you replied to.

Moose


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 Message 3 by Admin, posted 12-08-2018 11:15 PM Admin has acknowledged this reply

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7012
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 6 of 52 (844958)
12-09-2018 3:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Admin
12-09-2018 5:01 AM


Apologies for this question, but is your site backed up?

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Admin, posted 12-09-2018 5:01 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 7 of 52 (844961)
12-09-2018 6:42 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Admin
12-09-2018 5:01 AM


This does all sound a bit dark ages. At the very least your hosting company should look at switching you to a virtual server. Running that on highly resilient shared infrastructure would mitigate against pretty much any hardware fault from single component to whole physical server. This would also be more cost effective for the company in question in terms of running costs (cooling, power, rack space, support likelihood etc etc.)

And, as you mention, cloud is the obvious destination here (which in practical terms is the same as the above but on an industrial scale with the economies of scale that brings). AWS would have sizing/costing tools for IaaS which would include database estimations. Is it worth simply running one of those to get an initial idea?

But a 10 year old physical server sitting in a data centre, slowly popping it’s bits and relying on graveyard extractions for ongoing survival - You don’t need me to tell you that isn’t a long term solution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Admin, posted 12-09-2018 5:01 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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 Message 10 by Percy, posted 12-09-2018 11:18 AM Straggler has responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4415
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


(2)
Message 8 of 52 (844962)
12-09-2018 8:29 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Straggler
12-09-2018 6:42 AM


But it's probably a cost effective one.

Note, no ads on this site.


This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18801
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 9 of 52 (844963)
12-09-2018 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Tangle
12-09-2018 3:14 AM


Tangle writes:

Apologies for this question, but is your site backed up?

The software is trebly backed up, but the database that contains all the threads and messages and other board info is only backed up when I back it up, which usually happens when the thought pops into my head, "Gee, I haven't backed up the database in a long time," which thought occurred to me yesterday, so I'll probably be doing another database backup today.

A database backup is only a snapshot of what's in the database right at that moment. All threads and messages and new members and member status and etc. from the time of the backup to whenever the database becomes unavailable (disk dies, no more Conroes left, etc.) would be lost.

New avatar images uploaded by members could be lost. Images supplied by me are trebly backed up.

I think cloud servers offer full and automatic website backups, another reason for moving to the cloud.

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18801
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 10 of 52 (844964)
12-09-2018 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Straggler
12-09-2018 6:42 AM


Straggler writes:

This does all sound a bit dark ages.

When I started in this industry the IBM 360 was king and timesharing was all the rage. Secretaries typed our memos on IBM Selectrics. I worked for a company that gradually climbed from #7 to #2 in the industry on the backs of computers no one has ever heard of today, like the PDP-11 running RSTS or RSX-11 and the DECSystem 10 (later 20) running TOPS-10 (later 20), and then later VAX/VMS. But it wasn't the dark ages. It was the Camelot age of our industry, and it lasted until around 15 years ago.

It feels to me that dark ages are what has descended upon us recently. The Internet spawned an egalitarian community where anyone could effectively run a website, but just as cars have become impenetrable cumulations of multiple technologies that have killed off the weekend mechanic (gone are the days of guys spending weekend afternoons working on their cars in their driveways), so has the Internet. The ability of a complete novice to build a meaningful web presence without significant assistance (provided at a price, of course) or a huge investment in time and study is no more.

At the very least your hosting company should look at switching you to a virtual server.

I think they are very happy leasing me a machine they purchased in bulk over a decade ago. And I'm very happy as long as nothing goes wrong, because not having to change anything means less work for me.

Running that on highly resilient shared infrastructure would mitigate against pretty much any hardware fault from single component to whole physical server. This would also be more cost effective for the company in question in terms of running costs (cooling, power, rack space, support likelihood etc etc.)

I don't know if they make more money on the cloud approach - it looks like they charge less for the equivalent of a dedicated server, though it's hard to tell. Detailed feature lists seem to be a thing of the past. They want you to pay your money for a month or two and figure out for yourself if it works for you. I know exactly what I need - they just can't tell me, at least not in the sales department or at the website, if that's what they provide. So given what you say next:

And, as you mention, cloud is the obvious destination here (which in practical terms is the same as the above but on an industrial scale with the economies of scale that brings). AWS would have sizing/costing tools for IaaS which would include database estimations. Is it worth simply running one of those to get an initial idea?

Maybe I should look at AWS - maybe they provide better up-front information. But if I have to lease a cloud system for a month to figure out if it will work for me then I may as well do it with my current webhosting company - they've done a good job overall, I'm used to them, and they've been fair about pricing - as my server has gotten older they've been willing to offer me discounts - I now pay about 75% of what I paid a decade ago, and that's not taking inflation into account or the general rise in price of dedicated servers.

By the way, if you're wondering why we have a dedicated server instead of a shared server when our requirements are so meager, it's strictly the database size. Shared servers restrict database size to a few hundred megabytes at most, and we're way past that.

But a 10 year old physical server sitting in a data centre, slowly popping it’s bits and relying on graveyard extractions for ongoing survival - You don’t need me to tell you that isn’t a long term solution.

Well, yeah, like I said, I did try to investigate cloud computing through my current webhosting company, but though I do feel the need to move off the dedicated server, I don't like to feel like I'm jumping off into the wild blue yonder, either.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by ringo, posted 12-09-2018 2:27 PM Percy has responded
 Message 13 by Straggler, posted 12-09-2018 3:22 PM Percy has responded
 Message 24 by JonF, posted 02-08-2019 9:20 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12683
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 11 of 52 (844968)
12-09-2018 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Percy
12-09-2018 10:31 AM


so many questions
But are cloud servers free of ads? And would the switch cost you more than the current archaic setup? And would the site go down as much? Add by Edit: I guess the ads would be your decision. but I for one would pay a modest sum to help keep us from them.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Percy, posted 12-09-2018 10:31 AM Percy has responded

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ringo
Member
Posts: 17152
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 12 of 52 (844970)
12-09-2018 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Percy
12-09-2018 11:18 AM


Percy writes:

... computers no one has ever heard of today, like the PDP-11....


I learned BASIC on a PDP-11 and Fortran on a Xerox Sigma-9.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 13 of 52 (844980)
12-09-2018 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Percy
12-09-2018 11:18 AM


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.

From your point of view it’s the same server with no noticeable difference. From their point of view it’s one less physical device to take care of and supply resources for.

End result a hardware resilient EVC server!!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Percy, posted 12-09-2018 11:18 AM Percy has responded

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Percy
Member
Posts: 18801
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 14 of 52 (844991)
12-09-2018 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Thugpreacha
12-09-2018 2:10 PM


Re: so many questions
Phat writes:

But are cloud servers free of ads?

There will never be ads here.

And would the switch cost you more than the current archaic setup?

Cost would be about the same.

And would the site go down as much?

I assume the site would go down less. We're currently running 10 year old OS, PHP, Apache and MySQL versions.

Add by Edit: I guess the ads would be your decision. but I for one would pay a modest sum to help keep us from them.

Thanks for the offer, but as hobbies go this one doesn't cost too much.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Thugpreacha, posted 12-09-2018 2:10 PM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18801
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 15 of 52 (844992)
12-09-2018 8:50 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by ringo
12-09-2018 2:27 PM


ringo writes:

Percy writes:

... computers no one has ever heard of today, like the PDP-11....

I learned BASIC on a PDP-11 ...

Probably RSTS OS. Those were the days.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by ringo, posted 12-09-2018 2:27 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

    
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