Recent Server Downtime and Migration – What Happened?

DefaultComments Off on Recent Server Downtime and Migration – What Happened?Posted on July 26, 2006 by:
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Server maintenance underway – ughh. Explanation: Around 5:00 PM PST Saturday July 22nd, my hosting provider – MediaTemple.net, experienced a momentary power related issue at one of their data centers (LA – IDC2) which caused the server appliance hosting my virtual server and multiple web sites/domains that I own/administrate, to reboot. However, Media Temple apparently let their license for the Ensim virtual server appliance (similar to Vmware) to lapse for that particular box, and thus the server will not let any of the virtual servers reboot. Fan-freaking-tastic! So my account, along with others, are currently in a state limbo as Media Temple works with Ensim to get the license issue straightened out so I can gain access to my files/databases/etc. again.

As you might imagine, I’m in the middle of completely configuring a new server with all my data and domains, mail accounts, client data, databases, etc., so it may take me a day or two to migrate everything back to normal. The delay is due to the fact that I still don’t have access to the old account which is currently unable to boot due to the license issue with Ensim. I have some recent data, but I still need my databases, recent entries, etc. As soon as I regain access to them, I’ll also be restoring all my old content, blog entries, etc. That may take a bit of time – but as luck would have it, the latest version of Pivot, the PHP based blogging software I have used as the core of my site for some time now, has just gone final at version 1.30, so I’m taking this opportunity to migrate from the pre-beta version I was running that is several years old, to the latest version. It may take me some time to get the templates working properly, and many of the special features of my site, like the automated text-to-speech to Flash, auto-podcasting, and other goodies I integrated in to the old version. It figures that something like this would happen while I am away traveling and come back to a super busy week of client meetings and work. Hang in there things should be back to normal, and even improved in many ways by the end of the week if not sooner.
Finally, since I was traveling back from a week long trip to Adobe in San Jose, CA when the outage occurred, I have already missed a number of emails during the window of 5PM PST 07/22/06 and 2:30pm EST 07/24/06 when there was no server online – if you havent gotten a response from me on any emails sent during that time, please resend and I’ll respond as soon as possible.

UPDATE: 12:08AM EST
Media Temple was able to retrieve my entire server directory structure and data from the old server, so now I am in the process of massaging everything back into place, and integrating all my old blog posts/data/css/layouts/templates into the new system. May still take a while, so things may break a lot over the next day or two and certainly look a bit strange as I overhaul the look and feel of the templates, etc. Good news is email is backup, and I also got the main Philadelphia Flash Platform Adobe User Group site back online, the other domains that resolve to that site are in the middle of DNS propogation. The forum on the still needs its database restored – working on that. I have also put in place a Migration Status page that will also display for any 404 errors. Will post another update as things progress.

UPDATE: 07.26.06 – 04:30PM EST
I was able to completely rebuild my mail structure and recover all my email – looks like I do have a window of downtime between Saturday 5PM PST to Monday around 3PM EST where emails were just bounced. I’ve gotten most of my assets moved back into place, and some of the surrounding areas of the site, as well as worked on the CSS templates for Pivot a bit. My next step is to incorporate the last 5 years of blog posts into the new system. I’m currently working on a set of PHP and Perl scripts to do the conversion for me, but I’ve got to jump on some client work right now. Hope to get that finished late this evening and get everything back in place. More updates soon…

UPDATE: 07.26.06 – 06:00PM EST
Finished the scripts to convert all my old entries and all the old entries should all be live going back to 2001. I need to go through and put redirects in for all the old URL’s as they are now somewhat different, and I don’t want to lose any search engine results. One new side effect of moving to the latest version, is that there is now a searchable index of keywords of all my entries – very nice. There still may be broken links and images, urls, I need to go back and check everything, especially entries that refer back to other old entry URL’s. More to come soon…

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