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Important - Please Read! Major Changes Coming!

Discussion in 'Technical' started by John Stone, May 2, 2008.

  1. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    I know jack about behind the scenes workings of the internet (I thought it was magical house elves), but I've thrown a few more pennies in the pot, to help out. Better profile pages sounds cool.
     
  2. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    :eek:

    Dude. You are already a Lifetime Platinum supporter. That's 500 bucks. You've more than paid your "dues". I can't believe you sent more money. As much as I appreciate your unbelievable support of JSF, please... no more. There are over 20,000 members here; you've done your share, and then some.

    From all of us, thank you. :)
     
  3. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    Ah, dont worry about it, I'm happy to help. That reminds me, I can't remember if I ever got the coffee mug, do you have any of those left?
     
  4. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Check your PMs. :)
     
  5. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Dell has already shipped out the two machines that will eventually become the new JSF servers! The servers were not scheduled to ship until mid-month, so this news comes as a very pleasant surprise.

    Of course I ordered the servers with no Operating System/empty hard drives, so I've got quite a bit of work ahead of me before they'll be ready. The only data I'll be restoring is the actual web site content and all the forum data; everything else will be installed and configured from scratch.

    The new servers should be in my hands by this Friday at the latest. I've got a pretty busy weekend ahead of me, but I'll try to carve out a chunk of time to at least get the project started. At this point it would be premature to attempt to provide an estimated date of completion, but I'll keep everyone posted on my progress in this thread.
     
  6. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    OK, as luck would have it this week I had to prepare a new server for work. As such, I've had a good excuse to play around with a few different Linux distributions. Other than a couple of minor niggles, I REALLY like Debian the best. I felt right at home with it, and I love the PMS. It blows Gentoo out of the water. Ubuntu is a solid distro, but ultimately I felt more comfortable with Debian.

    Debian will be the O/S I install on the new JSF servers.

    The hardware will be here on Friday. :spaz:
     
  7. nc

    nc Senior Member

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    Curious, what criteria did you use to evaluate the different distros?
     
  8. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    It was very informal. I mainly just installed each distro, played around, ran some tests to see which would break my existing scripts/software the least, checked out the PMSs, evaluated online support--that sort of thing. Ultimately I felt most at home with Debian, and so I went with my gut instinct.
     
  9. J2K66

    J2K66 Well-Known Member

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    Good choice on the Debian. It's tried and true and the basis for ubuntu anyways.

    The hardware looks sick and should have NO problem handling the sites load I would think.
     
  10. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    I think I made the right choice. The more I play, the more I like.


    Yeah, the new servers are overkill for our normal traffic loads, but I wanted to plan for future growth, and also be able to handle the very large spikes in traffic we sometimes see. Even with the new hardware I'm not sure we can handle something like what happened last spring, but that was a very unusual "perfect storm".
     
  11. jdb-44

    jdb-44 Active Member

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    Hey, John, good luck with the upgrade. For what it's worth, though, I've never noticed any performance issues with the site. Were there slow response times for users as they posted or something like that?

    Anyway, have fun with the install. Although I'm much more of a lightweight when it comes to IT stuff (I'm just a database developer/programmer), I can appreciate how exciting it would be to set up a whole system like that, especially on brand-new high-powered hardware!

    Speaking of the servers...they're not being delivered by DHL, are they? :)
     
  12. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    What happened last spring? I wasn't around much then.
     
  13. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    During peak hours things have been slowing a bit, and there have been a few instances recently where resources have been strained, causing the database server to become overloaded.

    The servers' load averages have been creeping up lately, and we're a little past the threshold I feel comfortable with.

    Slow servers and web sites are annoying, and I don't want JSF to be one of those sites. :nod:


    Thank goodness, no. FexEx, who I'm generally pleased with.


    JSF went sort of viral for a few days last spring, and was posted on several very large sites such as fark, digg, reddit, del.icio.us, and many other sites small and large--all in the space of 2 or 3 days. This resulted in massive amounts of traffic, crashing servers, headaches and frustration for everyone involved.

    I talked a bit about this event in more detail (with specific numbers) a little earlier in this thread.
     
  14. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Somehow the the two servers were separated in shipment, but the good news is one of them is here safe and sound! I can only work on one at a time anyway, so no big deal.

    Pictures...

    Fresh out of the box:
    1.jpg


    Under the hood:
    2.jpg


    16 Gigs RAM, 2 Quad Core CPUs, 4 cooling fans:
    3.jpg


    Powered up in my home office. Ready to start installing:
    4.jpg
     
  15. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    My fault, my bad. Admittedly, I skipped some of the longer passages in this thread due to my complete lack of knowledge of computer lingo. Most of that technical stuff was WAY over my head.

    Sorry to ask an already answered question. :spank:
     
  16. Cinic

    Cinic Well-Known Member

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    I just noticed a couple minutes of downtime. Was that you switching onto the new server?

    :D
     
  17. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    I don't think the downtime was on this end.

    I've got quite a bit of work to do before the new servers will be ready. :nod:
     
  18. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    I made an incredible amount of progress today!

    - Debian is installed, and most of the supporting software/libraries are installed and configured.

    - The RAID stuff is working perfectly. I spent a little too much time gleefully pulling the hard drives while the server was hot, and then checking to make sure everything was working properly. It always was. :dance:

    - I've got Apache locked down and all the port 80 virtual hosts up and running. I still need to play with SSL.

    - The current server runs MySQL 4.0.x, and I've upgraded to MySQL 5 on the new server. I successfully pulled a mysqldump of the existing forum data and imported it into the new server with zero problems. The migration from MySQL 4 to MySQL 5 was my biggest concern, so the successful outcome of this test was a huge relief!

    - FTPd, SSHd, PMA, AWS and Postfix are all installed and 85% configured.

    - I ran a stress test on the new server. This particular test makes the current web server spike up to a 5.0-7.0+ load average. On the new sever I could not get the load average above .05 no matter what I threw at it. :)

    I still have to get iptables configured and work on the SSL stuff, and a couple of my own php programs are slightly broken (the DVD database on twowiresthin.com needs some massaging), but other than that we're looking really good after only a half-day of work. :nod:

    If things continue to go this smoothly I may be able to deploy the new servers some time next week!

    I'm seeing double right now. It's been a long day, but a good day. I'm going to bed!
     
  19. probelia

    probelia Active Member

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    That's great, just out of curiousity what do you use to stress test? Do you use apaches 'ab' or something else. This is one area of sys admin, that has always eluded me and I would love to know more about it.


    Sweet, it's always nice when a plan comes together :)

    Just as a leftfield idea...looking back over the initial list of new features I didn't see the vbulletin blog mentioned. Do you think that we'll see this in the new version as well?
     
  20. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    It was more of a real-world test. I once used a neat little php script to automatically create thumbnails from the images posted in the pictures section of the main site. The script worked pretty well, but it was absolute murder on the servers--especially if more than a few dozen people happened to be loading the picture page at the same time. Last spring when the site got slammed, I learned pretty quickly that the script needed to go. I got rid of the script (the thumbs are no longer dynamically generated), but I installed it on the new server just to compare. Even with several dozen simultaneous loads, the server just shrugged it off like it was nothing. :)


    Yes, it's very likely that I'll implement that feature. :tucool:
     

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