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[solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

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Candlelight.kk
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Solved [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by Candlelight.kk on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:04 pm

(originally posted 16 Dec 2016 02:00 pm )

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.


Regards,

Freeforums


Further information: 
Spoiler:
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.

mac
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Solved Re: [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by mac on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:16 pm

Fingers crossed that all goes smoothly for them....
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Solved Re: [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by Candlelight.kk on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:17 pm

Okay ... some weird things happening today with some of the images and other bits on the Forum - but at least we know that it's related to the migrating server (as per this announcement), so no cause for concern and hopefully things will be back to normal soon.
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Solved Re: [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by Misty on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:18 pm

I dont know if this is anything to do with this problem but the forum is really slow today. Everything I do is slow, from logging in to And I got logged out of the forum just as I was about to send a post that I had just made. It said you have to be logged in to make a post. I was logged in and my name was still showing that I was, but I logged in again and sent the post this time and then logged off, but even though I am logged off it is still showing me as online when I am not!

Will try again after sending this and log off straight away, so if my name still shows online its not true.
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Solved Re: [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by Candlelight.kk on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:26 pm

Misty wrote:I dont know if this is anything to do with this problem but the forum is really slow today. Everything I do is slow, from logging in to And I got logged out of the forum just as I was about to send a post that I had just made. It said you have to be logged in to make a post. I was logged in and my name was still showing that I was, but I logged in again and sent the post this time and then logged off, but even though I am logged off it is still showing me as online when I am not!

Will try again after sending this and log off straight away, so if my name still shows online its not true.

I suspect it is related to the server changeover, Misty. The issue is still ongoing and lots of forum admins still reporting various problems with their respective forums (some similar issues to what you have been experiencing - and many of them image-related, as we seem to be experiencing here also.) The tech guys are working flat out on it - I suppose trying to get it sorted before the Christmas holiday. I am sure they are doing the best they can, but I must say it's not looking too promising that that will happen. Unfortunately, there's nothing much we can do about it, except wait and hope.

PS: Another added effect seems to be that a number of those forums have not been receiving any emails notifying of new posts made on the forums. This is something that I've noticed here also.

Intermittent smilies also is another thing - but that's a trivial thing compared to the other stuff.
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Solved Re: [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by Candlelight.kk on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:27 pm

There is still a problem with the image icons here on the forum (which is also affecting some of the listings on the Index page, where images should be showing but all we can see at present is the wording 'No unread posts' or 'Unread posts'.) Same with some of the Smilies.

I was just about to get rid of all those non-working images altogether in the hope that at least the Index page would get back to looking a bit more normal - but discovered a reply on the Support Forum to an admin of another forum experiencing the same issues. The reply from the Support staff says that it's a known issue and is still being worked on. So, I will wait another while ........

Also - recently not been receiving any email notifications of new posts made on the Forum - a situation which again is being experienced by other FF forums. Not sure if that's the same for other members here(?) If so, I would suggest you check your Spam/Junk folders, because that is what I did this morning - only to find that these recent notifications (including ones from the FreeForums Support Forum) have actually been going into my Spam folder! I have rectified that now (indicating that emails from this Forum are NOT spam!) - and would advise that anyone else finding this happening to do the same.

Hopefully, by the time we come to ring in the new year we'll be back to some kind of 'normal' with FreeForums.
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Solved Re: [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by Candlelight.kk on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:28 pm

This Progress Notice has been posted by our hosts, explaining the ongoing situation:

Hi everyone,

We are aware that some boards still have broken images, logos, smilies, and attachments.

All of those issues are related to images. The images are stored on a server that crashed, and is currently under construction.
Why so long? in order to put the server back up, some hardware parts are needed. This hardware has been ordered, but due to the Holidays, there have been delays in delivery.

Please know that your images and attachments have not been forgotten, but there are some delays, however.

Thanks


I also just discovered that notification emails from the Forum have recently been going into my Spam folder(!) and that's why I haven't been receiving them. I have rectified this now - by ticking the 'Not Spam' option for Lightafterlifeforum (which is a Gmail address). The Support Forum reports that this has been happening to others as well - so I would advise all members to please check your Spam/Junk folders just in case the same has been happening to you - especially if you have a Googlemail address. It can be easily rectified by checking those emails and marking them as 'Not Spam'. Those emails will instantly revert to your normal Inbox and any future ones from the Forum also.

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Solved Re: [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by mac on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:29 pm

"It can be easily rectified by checking those emails and marking them as 'Not Spam'. Those emails will instantly revert to your normal Inbox and any future ones from the Forum also."

I hope that works for us all but it's not always the case for all websites. I do exactly what you've said for one of them but notifications from there ALWAYS end up in my 'Spam' folder no matter how many times I declare them 'Not Spam' or make a rule to re-direct them to my Inbox.

Fingers crossed.....
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Solved Re: [solved] FreeForums migrating to a new server

Post by Candlelight.kk on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 5:30 pm

mac wrote:"It can be easily rectified by checking those emails and marking them as 'Not Spam'. Those emails will instantly revert to your normal Inbox and any future ones from the Forum also."

I hope that works for us all but it's not always the case for all websites.  I do exactly what you've said for one of them but notifications from there ALWAYS end up in my 'Spam' folder no matter how many times I declare them 'Not Spam' or make a rule to re-direct them to my Inbox. 

Fingers crossed.....

Well, it happened instantly - with 2 notification emails that I just found in my Spam about half an hour ago; one was notification to activate a new user who has just joined the Forum, and the other one - I would rather not receive  :nuts:  as it's telling me that I have lost my [long-held] Coffee Breaker trophy to member ariel in the Games Arcade here.  :waiting:
I ticked both as 'Not Spam' and immediately they appeared in my Inbox.
Notification of your post that I am just replying to - also came directly into my Inbox just now.  So, yes - fingers crossed that the members will read this and do the same.  Perhaps it would be worthwhile for the admin or mods on the websites you mention, mac, to put a notice somewhere on their site, where guests can read, explaining the situation and advising all members to check their spam/junk folders.

    Current date/time is Tue 22 Aug 2017, 10:10 am