The stress of last week is now behind me and the forum server is back up (but how long it will last is anybody's guess). To preempt the final failure of the forum harddrive the proposed server moved scheduled for the middle of August has been pushed forward to, hopefully, as early as this coming Wednesday (5th Aug 09).
First of all why is this server move necessary? It's necessary because the servers are at their peak. They can handle what's being thrown at them right now but I want to squeeze more out of the sites. I'm going to be adding more functionality and more features to the sites over the coming months and the current hardware just won't support these updates. Similarly the sites aren't getting smaller, they're getting bigger. Every file you add, every rating you make, every comment you make and every file you download add to both the space and processing overheads of the site. Add to that an average of 1,500 new members every single day and the hardware simply needs to keep up with the demand.
Where is the site moving to? I'm moving the webservers out of the US and in to the UK, working with some good friends who have been hosting sites for 7 years to make a more tailored solution to the Nexus's unique needs. At the moment the sites make use of 32ghz of processing power and 16GB of RAM across 3 servers. The sites will be moved to two Blade servers, in the same chassis, with a total of 40ghz of processing power and 32GB of RAM. What's more the setups will be run in proper RAID-1 arrays to prevent the recent problems with hard-drive failures from reoccuring; something I can't currently do due to space requirements.
What will the move entail? Both Nexus sites and the forums have a large amount of data that needs moving. To make matters worse the data needs to travel several thousand miles from Texas to London. Work has been under way since last week moving over all the necessary files to the UK, which took several days, but there are other files, such as the site databases that can't be moved until the site is taken down. This takes time and as a result the Nexus sites will be taken down for an entire day, at the moment that day is Wednesday, to complete this move. Similarly as the server IP's will be changing the DNS Zones also need to be updated and it can take time to process depending on your individual ISPs.
I'll release more information as and when I know more.
On a side note there are two other issues I'd like to address. First of all, all current premium members will be getting 3 days of additional time added to their accounts in the near future to offset the time lost over the forum hard-drive failure and the upcoming day of down-time.
Second of all I definately haven't forgotten about the millionth member competition. Obviously things are very busy at the moment so I haven't been able to dedicate much time to playing through the excellent entries on offer, but I want to play through them and judge them personally. As an act of good faith (and because there weren't a large number of entries) all the members who entered will be getting a $10 Amazon voucher at the end of the competition. Obviously winners will be getting the prize money instead ;)