06. January 2016 · Comments Off on Disk errors – server migration in progress · Categories: Notifications, Site Outage

Due to an accumulation of hard drive errors on this web and email server I am preparing a new server to take over from this one.

Over the past couple weeks, the SMART function of the hard drive installed on the server has been reporting steadily larger numbers of permanently unreadable disk sectors. So far this has caused a couple minor software crashes that did not take down the whole server, just one or two of the running server functions.

So in the interest of a smooth transition, I have started work on a new server by installing CentOS 6 on a computer I had doing some minor functions that were fun but not necessary. I will be migrating server functions from the old server to the new over the next couple weeks. I do expect there to be some very short periods of down time, but none should last more than a few minutes.

If you encounter difficulty with accessing my web sites or sending me email. please be patient and try again in a few minutes.

Thanks for your patience.


08. January 2015 · Comments Off on Maintenance outages today, January 08, 2014 · Categories: Announcements, News, Site Outage

I will be performing some emergency maintenance today, to replace a couple old and failing UPS units. The batteries are OK, but the units themselves are failing after several years.

There will be a few short outages of the email and web sites during this maintenance.

Thanks for your patience.

David Both


26. July 2013 · Comments Off on Server upgrade weekend of August 3-4 — short outages expected · Categories: Announcements, Site Outage

The weekend of August 3 and 4, I will be preparing to perform a significant server upgrade. The upgrade itself will take effect over a few days during the following week. You may experience intermittent short outages of this web site during this time, especially the weekend during the preparation phase.

I apologize in advance for any inconvenience these outages may cause.

The Plan

Just in case you are curious, here is the plan for this upgrade.

Preparation

Estimated outage: 60 Minutes

  1. Poweroff the original server and remove the hard drive.
  2. Install the hard drive in the temporary, less powerful server.
  3. Power on the temp server and properly configure the network adapters.
  4. Configure the firewall to forward email and web services to the temporary server.
  5. Test.

At this point we will be up and running with our same software but on a less capable host. The temporary server should have no difficulty dealing with the loads we normally experience, but I do want to end up with the more powerful computer as our server.

Implementation

Estimated outages: A few minutes at most during each transition.

  1. Install new hard drive in the original server.
  2. Install the latest version of Fedora.
  3. Install the server software required to run the email and web sites.
  4. Install all of my personal and server-related configuration customization.
  5. Migrate the web servers.
    1. Copy the configuration file for the Apache web server to the upgraded server.
    2. Copy the data for all web sites from the temporary server to the upgraded server.
    3. Verify that the web sites are working.
    4. Configure the firewall to forward web requests to the upgraded server.
    5. Test all of the web sites.
    6. Fix problems.
    7. Repeat E and F until all problems resolved.
    8. Turn off the web server on the temporary server.
  6. Migrate the email server.
    1. Copy all of the configuration files for sendmail, SpamAssassin to the upgraded server.
    2. Start Sendmail.
    3. Test.
    4. Configure the firewall to forward email requests to the upgraded server.
    5. Test.
    6. Fix problems.
    7. Repeat E and F until all problems are resolved.
  7. Migrate listserv.
    1. Copy list data and archives to the upgraded server.
    2. Verify correct operation.
    3. Fix problems.
    4. Repeat B and C until all problems are resolved.

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