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Gen. Chat “OB Server Upgrade This Sat. June 9th” by John Booty

John Booty 5 years ago on 06/04/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Starting at 10AM or so, OB will be down for most of the day on Saturday, June 9th!

I'll be doing the following.

1. Updating the OS from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 R2.
a. This will update IIS (Windows' web server) with stuff we'll need
for Clitter, etc.
b. Windows 2008 also has better support for running virtual machines.
Eventually we're shifting more to Linux.
c. The current Windows 2003 install is kind of fucked up and there
are some security patches that won't install

2. Replacing two Intel 80GB SSDs with a single Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD
a. The new SSD is several times faster
b. The old SSDs have several years of wear and tear
c. If I fuck something up, I can plug the old SSDs back in and
get our old install back. As opposed to installing the new OS
over the old ones and having no recourse

3. Replacing the 1TB Western Digital Green backup drive with two 1.5TB WD Green drives.
a. One 1.5TB drive for hourly database backups
b. One 1.5TB drive for system backups (Win 2008 has a full
system backup feature similar to Time Machine on Macs)
c. Note - data will still be backed up to "the cloud" via
JungleDisk+Amazon S3

Here's the SSD we purchased with your subscriber money. I've had excellent experience with SSDs using Intel's firmware in the past. I've been using Intel drives in OB's server as well as my personal machines for 3+ years.

Moderator Tulip O'Hare Says:

John Booty 5 years ago on 06/04/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Tech. Questions Nobody Has Actually Asked, But Might

Q: Why Windows?
A1: Ideally, Windows would not be part of the equation, but we have a lot of existing Windows code.
A2: Honestly, Microsoft's server products aren't that bad. They've never had market dominance for servers so they compete pretty hard.
A3: This does not preclude open-source goodness. We have the VM route to run Linux, and a lot of good open-source stuff runs natively on Windows: Rails, Postgres, MySQL, PHP, etc.

Q: I don't trust them newfangled SSDs!
A: It's 2012. If you're referring to specific issues with Sandforce-based drives, the Intel firmware apparently solves these issues.

Q: You're using consumer-level/prosumer-level drives?
A: Everything is backed up locally as well as "to the cloud." To experience drive-related data loss, multiple drives would have to fail simultaneously and Amazon's S3 cloud storage service would have to be wiped out by nuclear war or something.

Q: Will this help me jerk it to FOPs faster?
A: Indirectly, yes.

Q: I noticed OB hasn't had any random outages in the past six months or so. Did that get fixed?
A: Yes! Our hosting provider upgraded to some swanky Cisco routers.

Q: Physical servers? How quaint.
A: I'd probably go the cloud-hosted route if I was starting something new, but we have about 10GB of data so cloud-hosting OB would probably quadruple our current monthly costs. Besides, we already sank the money into physical hardware, right? (An excellent investment, by the way)
PS: Q. What's OB's server hardware, again?
A. Intel Core 2 Quad (2.93ghz, 4 cores) with 8GB DDR2. And, obviously, the drives listed above. It's nearing 5 years old but is still way overkill for our needs in terms of horsepower.
Princess Shoujo Maiku 5 years ago on 06/04/12
Equipped: Embarassing Yaoi Fanfiction by LostDecoy named "The Adventures of Junun and Dio"
Q: Can you upload all of the male FOPs to a mirror, so I can jerk it while OB is down?

Moderator 1-Up Says:

Oliphaunt 5 years ago on 06/05/12
Q: Install Linux on it.
jonastio 5 years ago on 06/05/12
Equipped: Hentai DVDs named "Gnomes Gone Wild"
I love seeing solid plans with risk mitigation built in.
fukkake 5 years ago on 06/05/12
Equipped: Cockblast of Vengence named "Crotchfire!"

I just want to say that all Saturday afternoon I will be drinking LOTS of beers and eating LOTS of food to help John/OB through this process, for the good of OB and our wonderful members I will endure HOURS of pure deliciousness!!!

That is how much I love you all.
spyrral 5 years ago on 06/05/12
Equipped: N00dz of Mink named "She was young and needed the money."
<b>Q: What is a server?</b>
nomad 5 years ago on 06/05/12
Equipped: Cockblast of Vengence named "A burst of rainbow fruit flavor in your mouth"
> Use server with penis.

> You cannot do that.

> :(

> I dont understand :(
John Booty 5 years ago on 06/05/12
Updated: 5 years ago on 06/05/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
nomad said:
&gt; Use server with penis.

&gt; You cannot do that.

&gt; :(

&gt; I dont understand :(

I'm pretty sure there's going to be one empty drive bay in the front of the case.

I'm just sayin'.
PS: Just to show how awesome this group is, a kind couple offered to drop off food and/or beer and/or to keep me company during da upgrade.

I politely declined since the server's not in our area and I have to drive out there. But it warmed my tattered colon!

It's not exactly the most wild and crazy way to spend a Saturday, even for me, but it's part of what I enjoy the most which is running this stupid place. :-D
Beltane 5 years ago on 06/06/12
Equipped: Hide (Leopard Hat Ver.) named "He's not really dead, he's just resting!"
Good thing that I'm working all Saturday afternoon and most of the evening!
John Booty 5 years ago on 06/08/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Just a reminder: we'll be down for most of the day tomorrow!
Panzer Panda 5 years ago on 06/08/12
Equipped: Triforce
A day without FOP's is like a day without sunshine. Won't know what to do with myself.
The Kareem of Wheat 5 years ago on 06/09/12
Equipped: Galaxy's Most Dangerous Cute Lifeform: "Metriod" named "Purple's Plushy baby!"
Site's back up. Now I can go back to compulsively clicking through tabs!
Oliphaunt 5 years ago on 06/09/12
I can feel the power... yessssss...
A Study in Pink 5 years ago on 06/10/12
Float 5 years ago on 06/10/12
Equipped: Portable Campfire named "put it in your pocket and roast some weiners!"
John Booty 5 years ago on 06/10/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Ugh. That was like TEN HOURS OF BULLSHIT yesterday. Fuuuuuuck.
Princess Shoujo Maiku 5 years ago on 06/10/12
Equipped: Embarassing Yaoi Fanfiction by LostDecoy named "The Adventures of Junun and Dio"
So, as with any upgrade, surely something went wrong. How smooth was the process in all actuality?
John Booty 5 years ago on 06/10/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Ugh. There were so many stupid issues. I actually sort of hate typing them out because all of the solutions sound so obvious once you rule out the other 50 possibilities (that also would have sounded equally obvious if it had been one of those things.)

Bullshit #1 - Computer not recognizing new drive consistently.

Weird. I chalked it up to the fact that it's a 6GB/sec SATA drive and the server only supports 3GB/sec SATA. But I did my research ahead of time; 6GB/sec drives fall back to 3GB/sec just like 3GB/sec drives fall back to 1.5GB/sec. Spent a lot of time investigating various possibilities and BIOS settings, which takes forever, since it's a server BIOS and there are like 5 minutes of self-tests on each boot that you can't turn off. At one point I took 3 of the RAM sticks out of the server so at least the memory check would go faster.

Anyway, this turns out to have just been the shitty 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter that Intel threw in the box. It was just physically not making good contact. I had tried reseating the drive early on, so I'd ruled that out, but... yeah that was it.

Bullshit #2 - Installing Windows.

Could not fucking burn the fucking .ISO to a fucking disk. Kept failing even when dropping down to the slowest-ass possible speed.

Okay, I'll just put it onto a USB thumbdrive. Server's BIOS apparently supports booting from USB, theoretically, but could not get this shit to work.

Eventually just tried a bunch of different brands of media until I finally got a good burn. Then I realized the server only had a CD drive, not a DVD drive. Luckily it was able to boot from my external CD/DVD drive. So I finally installed that fucking shit.

Oh, and then the server wouldn't reboot after the initial install. Long story short this was sort of happening simultaneously with Bullshit Issue #1 so I was confused. Thought it wasn't rebooting because of the intermittant-not-recognizing-the-drive thing.

Turned out to be two separate things. One, the server just wouldn't boot with the USB thumbdrive plugged in. It doesn't just not boot from that, it won't boot at all. Then there was also the simultaneous Issue #1 above. Through lots of process of elimination eventually narrowed that down.

PS: Bullshit Issue #3 - Windows Can't Handle Several Hundred Thousand Files

I have literally never found a utility on Windows that can copy several hundred thousand files - ie your FOPs, profile pics, and forum pics.

There are some paid ones I didn't try. And some free ones that blew. It's kind of infuriating because rsync (as seen on OSX, Linux, FreeBSD, every other OS) handles this like a champ, because it's like 20 years old and bulletproof.

There are some rsync wrappers and shit for Windows but fuck it. I just left OB's files on the old drive, and left that installed. We can run off that.

Bullshit Issue #4 - Forum Pics, FOPs

ASP is old and barely supported and there is some weird bullshit I had to write to make sure you can only see the FOPs you're authorized to see. Reading binary files and shit in ASP is not fun. And this weird bullshit that only I use (not by choice) worked a little different on IIS7 than IIS6. Anyway I spent a couple hours experimenting with THAT until it worked.
John Booty 5 years ago on 06/10/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Bullshit Issue #5 - Hey, Where'd The Server Go?

I got home last night and the server had gone down again. I go to bed pisssed and wake up pissed because I know I have to drive back out there.

But it had come back online at some point during the night. I thought maybe it had just gone down to install updates automatically (I had forgotten to change it from "Fuck me over by randomly rebooting to install fucking patches whenever the fuck you feel like it" to "Download updates and tell me about them, but don't do anything fucking crazy like fucking rebooting my shit unless I say so")

So I finished installing security updates and stuff and rebooted remotely. The fucking server didn't come back up. So I drove out to the data center.

Server was up, but no network access. Through process of elimination I tried different NICs on the server, different cables, tested other machines on the same switch, etc. Everything else is fine, has to be the server.

Okay. What the fuck is it on the server?

So I start disabling protocols on the network adapter. You know how Windows enables like 50 protocols by default? Usually, never a problem. However, having IPv6 enabled turned out to be the culprit. Usually you can just have IPv4 and IPv6 enabled and there's no problem. But I guess something upstream at the data center didn't fucking like it. So I disabled IPv6 and shit instantly worked again.

So I think we're good now?

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