Seems that our forum hosts (FreeForums / CrowdGather) are in the throes of a major server migration which may have intermittently affected some of their forums over the past couple of weeks. (The Support Forum reports various problems directly concerned with this issue throughout the boards).
I certainly have not noticed any problems with our little Forum, but perhaps we have been lucky and that is yet to come ....
FreeForums have posted this Progress Report in this regard:
We realize that the past few weeks has been extremely frustrating, but we assure you that it will get much, much better.
We had expected the migration to be complete by Friday, but a database server crashed during the relaunch causing significant outages. There was no loss of data, but definitely an annoying loss of access. For this we truly apologize. We are working on reconfiguring the database again, but Freeforums is massive, comprising over a decade of posts and tens of thousands of communities and there is no modern infrastructure that Freeforums can easily be ported over with.
We anticipate the move will be over by the end of this week, barring any other unforeseen circumstances. When the move is done, you will see steady improvements and progress including faster load times, improved moderation efficiency, and of course an amazing mobile interface. We believe that the move will set Freeforums up for growth over the next several years which is why we ask you to bear with us during this time. Your support means everything to us, but CrowdGather was down to only one engineer which made it impossible to make changes. Now things will be better.
Going forward, we will post an update of expected outages when databases are being synchronized. We will try our best to do these when Freeforums experiences the lightest traffic in order to minimize interruptions. We will also let you know when the move is done so you can report any feedback from your membership which needs to be addressed or corrected.
Thank you for your continued support and patience. Vey soon we hope to be in a position that makes up for all of this confusion.
- First, as everyone knows, we are in the process of moving all forums to brand new servers. This is a huge and delicate project, and especially time consuming. There is a huge amount of forums at Freeforums.
During this move, uploads, including attachments, smilies, logos, and images, will be down. Once we are completely moved to the new servers, everything will work again.
Other than that, some outages may be expected as well. (Please do report the outages).
It's not going to stop there though. With a much bigger team now, the plan is to do some much needed bug fixes immediately after the data migration to the new servers is done.
I know that the burning question everyone has is... how much longer? When will it be done? When will our attachments be back and when will uploads work?
The problem is that I can't tell for sure, and I'd really hate to give a date, and then have to disappoint when we go in overtime.
Imagine you plan on driving from New York City to Las Vegas, You calculate the total mileage, based on the speed limit on the highway, you figure out how long it will take you to get there. You add time for sleeping, eating, rest stops etc... and in the end, you decide that you can do this in 7 days. But, it's a long trip, and much can go wrong between here and there. You get stuck in a traffic jam at the Kansas City bypass, you leave your phone on the sink after you wash your hands at a rest stop, and lose hours trying to get back there, you get a flat tire, you run our of gas, etc... in the end, it takes you 10 days.
It's the same with this data migration. You can calculate how much data needs to be transferred and how long that will take, but a lot can go wrong. A server can crash, something might need to be re-migrated, etc...
Just last week, I transferred a big file through skype. It showed me the time remaining was 9 minutes, but 2 minutes later, the time remaining was 14 minutes. This is exactly how it goes with the data transfer, you don't know *exactly* how long it will take because it depends on a number of things.
I can give you the 'estimated' time of arrival at our new servers, but there is no guarantee that we won't go over that.
A few more days (less than a week), is really the best I can give you.
Rest assured that the technical team is doing everything in their power to get the boards moved over as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your patience while the moves are ongoing.