Thursday, October 23, 2014

Apollo Server Migration Complete

And ahead of schedule! We now return you to your regularly scheduled website...
...already in progress.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Apollo Server Migration Scheduled

Our approach to upgrades has always been a proactive one, to anticipate our users' changing needs rather than waiting until hardware breaks to fix it. Within the past 2 months we've done major upgrades to both PHP and MySQL, providing improved performance and reduced memory consumption, resulting in measurable improvements to your user experience.

Shortly after that we added an additional layer DDoS mitigation, to block the attacks that have unfortunately become a daily part of life on the Internet. It's a bit like playing "Whack-a-mole", but so far it seems to be working.

And now it's time for some new shiny hardware! Solid State, even!

In the early morning / overnight hours of Thursday Oct. 23rd starting at 3am EDT / 12mid PDT** we will begin migration to a newly provisioned SSD server. There will be some downtime while your data is being migrated. We hope that the downtime will be minimal, but it is based on many variables.

This upgrade will provide us with what's called "downtime-free OS kernel updates" and allow server-level kernel updates to be accomplished without needing to reboot the server. Currently, when the OS kernel (the "heart" of the server's operating system) is updated to patch security issues, the server has to be rebooted, causing downtime as the containers come up one after the other. With the new system, such patching would happen without downtime.

But of course I saved the best for last. The new server will not only rock more RAM but a SOLID STATE DRIVE!  

What's so great about a solid state drive you ask? Only everything!
  • No moving parts, nothing to break or wear out
  • 20-100 times faster than a traditional hard drive
  • Can process 3 times as much data in the same amount of time as a traditional hard drive
  • Improved performance, faster read/write speeds allow websites to load faster
  • Improved uptime, more reliability
  • Zero downtime will be required for future upgrades
  • Green technology! SSDs require 80% less power than a traditional hard drive
 We're very excited about upgrade, and hope you will be also!

During the migration our support desk will be unavailable, but Live Chat will be.

** We apologize for the short notice. I was notified only yesterday of a planned migration that was scheduled by the data center for late Thursday night; the migration is required due to a aging hardware on our current server and they like to keep everything humming along. 

Rather than have two incidents of downtime and disruption (one for the needed migration, then another in a month to upgrade to a better SSD server), I decided now would be the time for the SSD upgrade. 

This was scheduled at the slowest time of day, but had to be scheduled to occur before the other already planned migration on Thursday.