I was trying to think exactly when it was that I decided to split our DigitalOrphans website load into two servers… I believe it was in 2005 when I was teaching at St. Lawrence College, and the program coordinator asked me to provide web-hosting for all of the graphic design students. That experience of hosting websites for cohorts of graphic design students went on for about 5 years, and during that time I met a lot of very interesting and very talented designers. I still provide hosting services and keep in touch with many of these folks today.
It has been a few years now since I stopped hosting websites for entire cohorts of design students, and with that decrease in demand on server resources, and an increase in processing power on servers I am pleased to announce that I have now been able to merge us back onto one server again.
This move not only makes it easier for me to maintain the server, but also less expensive to run the service, which will translate into cheaper prices for some clients at their next regular billing cycle.
There are lots of things in the works right now, and I will be posting more exciting news in the weeks ahead.
As always, if you run into any issues or require any assistance please feel free to contact me.
Just a quick note to inform websrv01 users that I have upgraded both Apache and PHP on websrv01 this afternoon. This server is now running PHP 5.2.12, and previous pdo_mysql issues should now be resolved. Our next PHP upgrade (likely the end of February) will be into the PHP 5.3 branch, so please ensure any PHP applications you may be running are ready for this.
Update: 9:29AM EST Dell has successfully completed the maintenance work and replaced the failed hard drive on websrv01. All services are currently online; however, the server will be a little slow until it fully syncs the newly installed hard drive with its mirrored drive. We expect that this will take another few hours to complete. If you have any trouble, please let me know.
Original Post: Oct 27 @ 8:02PM EST
I confirmed earlier today with Dell that a service technician will be on-site in our Montreal data centre on Thursday, October 29th at 8:00AM EST to replace the failed hard drive on websrv01. While this maintenance is taking place, all services on the server will be unavailable. We expect that the downtime will no longer than 1 hour; however, your patience as we replace the failed hardware is appreciated.
Just to confirm, all services on websrv01 will be unavailable:
Thursday, October 29th, 2009 @ 8:00AM EST
Update: Oct 21 2:24AM
websrv01 is currently back online. Diagnostic tests are currently running on the server as we speak (thanks to Greg), but initial reports indicate that 1 of the 2 hard drives on websrv01 has died. Luckily we run a RAID 1 (mirror) configuration, so the other drive is picking up the slack (whew). Dell is aware of the issue and will get back to me later in the day to schedule a time for them to visit the data centre and investigate further. I will post more information as it becomes available.
Initial Report: Oct 20, 11:03PM
websrv01 is currently off-line. It is highly upsetting to say that; however, we are currently experiencing some major hardware issues / failures. I am currently working with Dell and our co-location provider to resolve the issue; however, we expect that the server will be down most of the day on Wednesday while we recover service.
This morning we experienced a short unscheduled service outage on websrv01 due to spam attack that took place early in the morning. This incident could have easily been avoided if a select few users had e-mail address passwords that were not incredibly simple. If you have a simple e-mail address password, please change it immediately. Passwords should be alphanumeric and contain a minimum of 6 characters, and no dictionary words.
We are currently experiencing an unscheduled service outage on websrv01 due to what we believe may be a hardware issue on the server. In fact, I think this could be the same issue we encountered on April 25th, and I hate to say it but our co-location provider *still* has not resolved the misconfigured the power port that our server is plugged into, so I am still unable to reboot the machine.
A technician has been informed of the problem, and someone is going down to the server to reboot it right now. Luckily, I am told there are people in the building today, so it should be back shortly. I will post an update as soon as I know anything.
Data centre technicians are making their way to the server right now to fix the APC switch and restart the machine.
I’m still waiting, and getting more angry by the minute. I apologize for the inconvenience.
websrv01 is back online after the technician finally rebooted the server, I apologize once again for the inconvenience. I am fairly certain that they assigned John to my support ticket:
We are currently experiencing an unscheduled service outage on websrv01 due to what we believe may be a hardware issue on the server. Unfortunately our co-location provider misconfigured the power port that our server is plugged into, so we were unable to reboot the machine ourselves. Currently we have a technician assigned in Montreal who is on his way to the data centre to reboot the server and investigate further. We will update this post as more information becomes available.
We are still working with our co-location provider to determine the exact cause of the problem. One theory currently being investigated is that we may be experiencing a distributed denial of service attack on the server. As soon as we have any further information, we will post it.
The problem has now been resolved, and all service has been fully restored. It does in fact appear to have been a distributed denial of service attack, which fortunately ceased on it’s own. We sustained 1Mbit of http traffic to websrv01 for only a short period of time before the server was unable to handle the requests. The 1Mbit wall continued until just after 6PM when it stopped just as mysteriously as it began. Further investigation is on-going and any new information will be made available.