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Old 12-08-2006, 10:54 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Server Issues, Upgrades and Upcoming Downtime

As many of you have noticed our site has experienced some problems in the last week. Quite a few factors have played a roll in this as I will outline below.

A few days ago one of the servers that runs the socialknowledge.com website had a log file that got too big. This caused the server to quickly slow to molasses pace and that in turn effected our site because we use the ad serving software to rotate the rally banners and the graphic in the top right of the page (AIR stickers, Discuss DIY ad, and Member Map). Once we got the other server fixed that got our page load times back to normal (the page no longer had to wait for the ad code to load).

The next issue we had was due to an upgrade of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) software we use (yesterday and this morning). This make our site more friendly to the search spiders which in turn gets us higher listings and helps us grow our membership base (Hurray! More people learning about Airstreams here at our community!). The code that runs this software is quite complex in that it connects the web server to the PHP code of the forum software and we had some issues when we upgraded. We had to revert back and try again. Finally we were successful and are now running the latest version.

Some new features have been put in place with this newest version of the SEO software that allow us to connect with other sites and help us give and get more traffics to blogs. We are going to evaluate these features and see if we want to keep them or not. (FYI - We plan to offer our members free "best of class" blogging software in 2007, so this could be a great feature for that).

Finally we are planning to move Airstream Forums to a temporary server while we rebuild our current server with faster hard drives, more memory and then send the server to a new datacenter. Once the server arrives at the new datacenter we will move the site back over (along with the WBCCI sites that we host for FREE).

In the past we had some other smaller forums sharing the server with us and as we all grew the resources available sometimes got to slim and performance started to slow down. We will likely still share the server with another couple of small sites but will be keeping a much closer watch on resources to make sure that hardware is never an issue. In the past month we got two new servers online and moved off a bunch of sites from our server. Loads are still unusually high (a sign that we need a fresh operating system installed) and we should be running a lot faster after all of the above is complete.

I will be posting more info about the server move as soon as details become available. hopefully we can get this done in the next week as we need to work on the server December 19th and get it shipped on the 20th. Look for another announcement about that shortly.

Thanks for your patience through all this. We are set to have an amazing 2007 and hope that we can all keep sharing more and more about the Aluminitus we all have...
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:59 AM   #2
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Thumbs up

Glad you gave us all an explantion.

It may be an idea in the future to give everybody a heads up before you do updates or upgrades so we all don't keep banging the server. Or thinking it's at our end.
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:02 AM   #3
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Hi Andy,
Thanks for all your hard work (adminisrtators and moderators ). This Forum is the BEST !
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:43 AM   #4
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Andy,
Thanks for the update. Have you ever thought about a status page at the social knowledge website? It could be used when any of your forums are going to be down for an extended period. Just a thought, keep up the good work!
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:02 PM   #5
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ANDY--great job,thanks--------
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:04 PM   #6
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Andy-

Growing pains! You guys are doing a great job and I want you to know it is much appreciated!
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:04 PM   #7
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Many thanks! We as members don't always realize what goes on behind the scenes to make this forum possible.

I love the sense of humor on the vBulletin message this morning when the server was down.
"Bad bad server. No donut for you!"

I got a great laugh.
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:24 PM   #8
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Hi Andy,

Thnx much for the update, looking forward to all the new improvements
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:41 PM   #9
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Having a status page is a good idea. I will look for ways to do that so it is not on our servers (or in the same datacenter) and can be accessed from a link like status.socialknowledge.com. I will post more here as we get the page up. Great idea, thanks!

Also, we will post when upgrades are going to take place. In this situation, it was supposed to be a routine upgrade but ended up turning south. So then we tried to rollback the upgrade and that also did not work. We finally figured it all out and got the upgrade done but there certainly was down time.

In the future we might want to plan a lot of upgrades at one time so we can take the site down and let you know when that is going to be. We actually have lots of upgrades to make in the next 60 days. I will keep you posted.
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:43 PM   #10
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Great Job Andy

Thank You for all you efforts in keeping us all in contact.
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:50 PM   #11
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Thanks Andy. Don't know what we'd do without our Forum's fix every day. You do a great job of keeping a lot of us very happy.

Barry
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:56 PM   #12
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Thanx for all your work.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:39 PM   #13
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Andy your efforts are appreciated. The Forums is part of owning an Airstream.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:54 PM   #14
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Smoke Signal - good job!

Like so many others, I thank you. Your work is excellent, the knowledge I have from the forum has saved me many hours, not to mention the forum has provided me with a lot of entertainment!
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