Hitmanforum Server Change


#1

Hi guys,

I’ve been working on prep for shifting the forum to a new server which will require more manual maintenance but be ultimately more sustainable. It’s finalized with a backup plan - so hopefully there will be no major dramas.

Essentially the plan is:

On Tuesday night (NZ time) I will create a new topic to announce putting the forum into read only mode.
Then I will create a full backup - this will take a long time since it will archive literally ever bit of the database and every image file and then I’ll have to download it.
In the morning I will do a fresh install of the software on the new server, upload the backup and then do all the changes for handover and update everything - once it’s confirmed transferred over I will update the DNS settings and propagation will mean you’ll get to access the new server.

If all goes to plan the only manual updates required by members is you’ll need to update your avatars and profile background image. So I would advise to save yours now. I will keep the read only version of the site available via a new url but I expect it will go down at the end of the month.

If we go with the backup plan, there will be a lot of broken links and I will have to copy across anything you absolutely can’t do without in the week or so before the server goes down.

The outtage shouldn’t go for more than forty-eight hours (worst case scenario) and will hopefully remain stable without any further outtages in the immediate future (I’ll have to monitor how it goes on our system and see what options are available since Discourse hosting does a lot of options that are so advanced they don’t even offer advice on how to set them up for non-developers.

Further updates will be provided on anything relating to the servers as they happen, do let me know if you have any questions or concerns and I will do my best to address them in this thread.


#2

#3

Good luck, I hope everything will be fine :smiley:

Will the forum be accessible with HTTPS after the migration ?


#4

It’s a thing I’m looking at doing once I get the transfer complete. There are a couple of ways I could do it but I want to take the time to research the options and confirm the best approach and that nothing set up is going to complicate things further.


#5

Could have been 47…


#6

Lets encrypt cert with an automated renewal :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the work @Jarbinger


#7

+1 :sunglasses: :+1:


#8

That was the first option I looked into but currently the forum uses Cloud flare which can really not like hosts using Let’s Encrypt and Discourse itself may have specific issues, particularly since I looking to host uploads on an AWP S3 server.

So in the interests of not accidentally locking everyone out while I am at work or otherwise away I am taking the approach of triple checking every step.


#9

Putting the server into read only mode now.


#10

Unfortunately some unforeseen and potentially unprecedented errors prevented transfer.

So I’ve restored the server to normal mode and will reattempt migration again this weekend.


#11

Finally back!! Yay!!! :smiley:


#12

Hopefully they’re easy problems to fix…


#13

Honestly can’t say since at least one of them is a “hi, this has been auto-reported to the dev team…” type error.
But hopefully it should be sorted out by the weekend.


#14

Sorry to hear, hopefully you have better luck with the next migration.


#15

But doing the copy worked? So the transfer could be quicker this time?


#16

I have another question related to Urben one. If you have a full copy of the forum already loaded on the destination server, the read only mode should be used only for the final step of the migration, to migrate the delta, right ? It gives you time to configure the destination server without impacting the production.


#17

I have a fully copy and a database only copy of the forum as of the time I set it to read-only so we’re definitely confirmed to be able to be transferred up to that point.

I have a full back-up of the server as of the time of Read Only on my hard drive (database, images, etc) so I can use that for main upload etc next time then do read only for the database transfer and recommend people get any images they uploaded since then again.

For reference: The complete file is 23 gigs, the database only file is under 800 megabytes so doing a database only transfer is relatively quick in terms of upload/download.

I hastily assume that in the next few days nobody is going to post any images they cannot do without and then delete the original and go away for two weeks.


#18

Alright, now putting the forum into Read Only mode for a much shorter second time.

And the good news is…you should get to keep everything when it goes into regular mode again.


#19

If you are reading this - you are now on the new server.

Image transfer created some issues but they should be back in the next few days - I had to work out a workaround for that. In the mean time you can upload new images etc. This will include avatars so if you upload a new avatar in the next couple of days it may be overruled with your old avatar once I finish this.

Largely the images were the only problem with the transition - just by virtue of there being 24 gigs of them so they take up a little space and make the database work hard when I fix them.


#21