Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

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Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by PanBiker »

Many will have noticed that the site went down last Saturday. I was alerted to this by BigKev who messaged me on Facebook.

I had an initial look on Saturday night and it soon became apparent that the database that the site was running on up on the host server was full. The upshot of this was that it would not process any write operations, so no new posts or replies to existing threads and if you were unlucky enough to have logged out, (like me) no logon either. The site was still viewable as read only.

Checking with our hosting company I found that the size of the database available to us was fixed and could not be expanded. This put us very much between a rock and a hard place so we needed an alternative solution that would get the site back up and provide an upgrade path if required in the future. I made an executive decision to upgrade our hosting package to permit recovery.

Technically the site is in the cloud and now sits on a virtual server in SSD storage so it should be little faster. This solution is scaleable and should provide for future expansion of posts and the high image content of the site. We can increase the storage space available to us at anytime ad therefore create more webspace for expansion.

It was also time to enlist the help of our friendly American expert Mark Hamill, no, not the one that plays Luke Skywalker but I am fairly sure he does posses at least some of the "force". Mark is retired now but runs a unique support service for those that run phpBB based websites as we do. Here is the link to his site for anyone else reading this that may need his support and expertise.

phpBB Services

Over the last few days we have transferred the domain and the database and all the site data from it's original location on the hosting site and moved it to our new virtual server. I did the data transfer by downloading all the site data (55GB) to my machine at home and then uploading it to our new virtual server. This then allowed Mark to upgrade us to the latest version of the phpBB software, recover the database, upgrade the post editor and also the auto backup routine that we use on the site. He has also been able to upgrade and maintain a functioning gallery extension which handles the bulk of our images on the site.

I acted as the link to the hosting company and using our customer credentials have been able to ask for advice from their customer support teams which I then passed on to Mark. I have to say that the various folk I have talked and chatted to at 1&1 IONOS have also been extremely helpful in assisting us to recover the site.

So there you have it, site is back up and should be fit for a few more years. Please notify me if you find any anomalies in site behaviour or if you have any other issues with how the site performs.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Tizer »

A great job, Ian. Not only do we have the site back but it's much quicker than in the past. Stanley should be pleased that Shed Matters is a lot faster to scroll now! Tell us when we can donate again. :smile:
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Tripps »

I've just made a similar comment on another thread. Yes - it's a lot quicker now. I'm off to look at shed matters now. :laugh5:
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by PanBiker »

Tizer wrote: 22 Sep 2020, 15:40 Tell us when we can donate again.
Anytime you like Peter the link on the homepage has moved slightly but you should see it in the banner below the search box.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by chinatyke »

Well done Ian. :good:

I've been away and off-line since Sunday morning so I wasn't aware that anything was amiss until Tuesday teatime (Beijing time).
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Gloria »

Well done Ian, do you need a top up to fund this?
It’s much faster as well 👍👏
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by PanBiker »

Any donations are welcome Gloria we always have ongoing hosting fees regardless of breakdowns with the site. A major recovery this time, competitive rates from Mark but certainly a dent in the funds, we need to recoup. I will probably do an interim funding report so folk know where we stand.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Gloria »

👍
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by PanBiker »

I should add here that we have threads that cover most areas of the site for feedback if anyone has any issues:

OGFB Website
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Gloria »

Done Ian.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by PanBiker »

Thanks Gloria just seen the notification. :smile:
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Gloria »

You’re very welcome.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Stanley »

Ian has given you the bald details, I have been in touch with him throughout and want to add a couple of things.
Ian has skimmed over the length of time that it took him to upload 55gb of files and the time he has spent talking to those involved. He has gone above and beyond for us and I want you all to recognise that. As far as I'm concerened he's a hero!
Sally has been locked out of the web while he has been using all the band width he had to upload files. I have asked him to thank her for me.
The need to throw money at the problem was immediate and couldn't be discussed. I told Ian I was sure it would be OK. It has been expensive but well worth it and yes, if you haven't donated, chuck something in the pot so he feels secure. I also told him that if he had any out of pocket expenses he should charge the site. I assume all of you will be OK with that.
Most of all I love the way our little site and membership has reacted and responded to the outage. It would have killed most sites but not OG. That says a lot about the quality of the site and its members and I want to thank all of you for your reactions. I'm sure Doc would be proud as well, if any of you are in touch with him please let him know!
So thank God we can post. Yet it seems faster, but most of all thanks to you lot, you are all very special to me. XXX
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Stanley »

PS. I don't think Ian has mentioned it but he has already paid Mark his initial invoice. There will perhaps be a bit more if we have to sort any glitches.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Stanley »

Later... I've given the site a good hammering and haven't found any problems. I have tested the donate button by shoving another tenner in and that's working as well. Overall, it looks as though all the little glitches we have been noting for months are cured. The speed is excellent and the biggest improvement is posting to the gallery. It's blindingly fast again and also it is once more showing a preview of the image you are uploading, that's been missing for months. Just tried the search in the gallery and that's fast as well.
So far so good and it looks like a success.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Tizer »

PanBiker wrote: 22 Sep 2020, 16:03
Tizer wrote: 22 Sep 2020, 15:40 Tell us when we can donate again.
Anytime you like Peter the link on the homepage has moved slightly but you should see it in the banner below the search box.
It's not in the OG banner on my PC in the usual Firefox (or anywhere else I've looked on OG pages). I asked Mrs Tiz to look for it but she can't find it too and she's the one who usually makes our payment. :sad:
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Stanley »

It's on my homepage Peter, immediately below site search and I have tested it, it works.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Gloria »

Same here Tizer.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by PanBiker »

Try clearing your cache Tiz. That should sort it.

It's definitely there, it's coded into the file that controls the header area. I sent Mark the code from the old file to incorporate in the upgraded version. All that has changed is that it is in a slightly different position as Mark has inserted the code block with different coordinating parameters than I had it originally. I actually prefer it there, it stands out better.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Tizer »

I've cleared the cache of `cookies and site data' and restarted Firefox and it made no difference. Cleared it all again and restarted the PC. Still no donate button, as shown in this final screenshot. Everything else works OK as far as I can tell so it's not really a problem. We can sort some other way for us to donate - but let's see if it's just a problem here or whether anyone else can't see it.

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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by PanBiker »

Interesting Peter and Gloria says she is in the same boat but I know she has made a donation so I don't know how she did that.

Have you tried a different browser Peter?

Can you tell me from the home page what the date and time of your last login says? A screenshot of the header area of the home page will do.
Donate button is actually positioned under the magnifying glass and cog, under the search box ranged right. You screenshot looks like you are zoomed in a little on the page as I cant see the right hand side of the banner.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by PanBiker »

Just done a bit of testing with Firefox browser zoom settings. Any level above 110% will expand the banner wider than the actual page width. This forces the search box to the right. I reckon that is your problem Peter. Just Try holding down CTRL and hit the minus key a couple of times and see what happens.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Tripps »

I didn't see the Donate button at first but, as Ian says, it's up in the top right hand corner in the photograph, and the scaling needs to be reduced for it to appear on your screen.

I tried to bypass Paypal to avoid the commission, but the card payment system seems to be in American (State and Zip Code ) so I did Paypal -it's much simpler. :smile:

It's good to be back.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Wendyf »

I may be wrong Ian but I think Gloria was agreeing with Stanley's comment, that's how I read it anyway.
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Re: Site Outage 19th - 22nd September

Post by Gloria »

PanBiker wrote: 23 Sep 2020, 09:17 Interesting Peter and Gloria says she is in the same boat but I know she has made a donation so I don't know how she did that.

Have you tried a different browser Peter?

Can you tell me from the home page what the date and time of your last login says? A screenshot of the header area of the home page will do.
Donate button is actually positioned under the magnifying glass and cog, under the search box ranged right. You screenshot looks like you are zoomed in a little on the page as I cant see the right hand side of the banner.
I did it through the donate button, Ivan see it in the top right hand corner.
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