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Server Hardware Fault

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Dragoneer

Site Developer
Site Director
Administrator
After investigating and digging around, we've determined many of the recent errors/outages on FA's side to be result of a server hardware fault. We've got some mixed signals coming from the server, and we're investigating them to try to resolve issues. No one item is pointing towards origin of failure so we are unable to determine what the point of failure is at this time.

Given we were planning on purchasing a new server for backup, we are re-allocating that money right now to purchasing a new data server with built in backup capabilities. The new server will replace the failing data server until we can make proper repairs.

With luck, the new server will going be ordered tomorrow. It WILL cost roughly $1,000 more than we currently have budgeted, and given that, we are once again asking for donations. The server will be ordered, money or not, but doing so is going to put us into severe debt at this time. The new system is going to cost us almost $4,000 and will make added emphasis on data security (with build in battery backups). The recent HD failure set us back roughly $250 from that goal. At current estimates, we have about $2,250 in our coffers to apply to a new server.

We will do everything within our power to minimize the outage, and current estimates are 7 to 10 days. We will keep you posted in the forums.


Lend a Hand?
Unfortunately fixes cost money, especially to the level that we need in this instance. If anybody is willing to help out we are accepting donations via Amazon or Paypal. We greatly appreciate any assistance in helping in this matter. Donations via Amazon can be made here. For Paypal, please PM me over the forums for the appropriate information.

As written before, we do have money to put together to a server, but not enough to replace the server having these issues. When all is said and done the other server will be fixed and repaired, and we'll drop it back into the colo.

EDIT: Due to the generous donations from the site, we've bumped the donation goal up to $4,000. As we get more and more support we will invest in the single best hardware we can buy.
 

kayfox

Member
I would like to see FurAffinity buy a real server, an IBM or some such, with all those important features, like miles of documentation, tested configurations and remote management features.

I have a few old IBM machines, and even they have features such as:
Redundant power supplies.
Lights out management.
Voltage, environment and hardware monitoring monitoring. (as in, I can tell you that the mainboard is at 22degC and all fans are on high, and 12v is at 12.21v, etc)

Surely something newer can do better, and if your careful and think it through, you can re-use hardware, like drives and such.
 
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Dragoneer

Site Developer
Site Director
Administrator
I would like to see FurAffinity buy a real server, an IBM or some such, with all those important features, like miles of documentation, tested configurations and remote management features.
Those cost a lot more money than we have funding for, unfortunately.
 

Myr

Big Dragon
You guys go through servers and hardware like wildfire through brush. Do yourselves a favor, take that money, save it, and then spend it hiring someone to do professional code for your site. You've been over-taxing your resources for years and you know it. You've known it even since before 'project Ferrox' was first boasted years ago. Throwing hardware at the problem again is just another patch job. You have a developer on your team who once told me he could reprogram the entire site in a week, and here it's been years and one missed expectation of an upgrade after another. Seriously, save your cash and put it into a professional or accredited programmer. If you can't afford that, then at the very least you should be hiring a professional consultant to give real advice. You're way past overdue for a major software upgrade. Both the users of FA and your colo will appreciate this.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Site Director
Administrator
You guys go through servers and hardware like wildfire through brush.
In three and a half years we have had one DOA motherboard and one drive fail. Please know your facts before you decide to troll, thanks. Well, that and whatever this issue is. We still have all the servers and are upgrading and re-deploying all of them. FA is about to hit five servers, and we're growing rapidly.
 

jd345

New Member
at least you guys are working on it,i was subiting a story when it fell, >.> i hope you guys get a rich man on the fourms and probly donates a whole bundle of cash to you guys, but thats just me hoping v.v
 

sd2522

PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Man it's a real bother. But when stuff breaks you either fix it or replace it. Hope it goes by fast.
 

ArielMT

'Net Help Desk
If anybody is willin' to help out via donation please let me know or feel free to donate to the previous server fund here.
Ten bucks from me to the link. It's all I can spare right now.
Run FA on the forums server? That'd be like fueling your body with nothing but food form McDonalds. Bloated and just not awesome.
As a support tech at a mom-and-pop ISP (meaning I wear more than one hat), I can vouch for that. Putting everything on one server is the least appealing option of 'em all, no matter how much horsepower it has, and I unfortunately know from experience, having done that out of necessity in the past.
 

Myr

Big Dragon
In three and a half years we have had one DOA motherboard and one drive fail. Please know your facts before you decide to troll, thanks. And whatever this issue is. We still have all the servers and are upgrading and re-deploying all of them. FA is about to hit five servers, and we're growing rapidly.
That's funny, because I remember a lot more than that going wrong, particularly with ram problems and incompatible parts ordered numerous times. You got upset behind the scenes several times about those things, and rightfully so.

It's really amazing what a single pair of servers can do to power a state-wide university and how reliable they can be when they've got well-coded software on them, even when there's millions of daily visitors and hundreds of thousands of users with accounts. You guys really need to stop endlessly neglecting software.

EDIT: It also seems you have a problem of letting go of the past. What happened was years ago. It's time to move on.
 
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Reyman

The Gingerbreadman
This reminds me of how limewire works off of donations. Sooner or later instead of downloading any song for free there going to start forcing people to pay for limewire pro. Its either that or nothing. Dragoneer my friend FA is falling we all know it. The website crashed for more than 3 times last month. Once a drive fails it one after another drives will fail and FA will fall. Why not make a new website and bring all the data there. Its like copying the website.
 
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Dragoneer

Site Developer
Site Director
Administrator
That's funny, because I remember a lot more than that going wrong, particularly with ram problems and incompatible parts ordered numerous times. You got upset behind the scenes several times about those things, and rightfully so.
That was during the original ordering of the server by Alkora, not by me. I research before I buy. Second, those weren't hardware failures... just FUBAR.

I don't handle things right now.

Both Tiamat and Bahamut, our main servers, are produced by Thinkmate, a professional IT company which specializes in servers. I bought servers from professionals. The original server, Gecko, was brought up to par. It is not in use right now, and is currently the process of being refit.

But hardware failures? No.
EDIT: It also seems you have a problem of letting go of the past. What happened was years ago. It's time to move on.
I have no interest in what happened years ago, Myr. I have moved on. But when we're accused of things being far, far worse than they are and with hardware failure that's beyond the scope of truth, I do take on the defensive side. Especially when I know that you know better.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Site Director
Administrator
TSooner or later instead of downloading any song for free there going to start forcing people to pay for limewire pro. Its either that or nothing. Dragoneer my friend FA is falling we all know it.
That's just about as far from the truth as one can get, sorry.
 

Corri_Yammari

My fingers hurt
As for the last three crashes this month, are these all linked to the same server? Or are is FA staff just having issues with the new colo?
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Site Director
Administrator
What's the new server likely to be?

Two quad core Xeon L5420 2.5Ghz 50W processors on an Asus Z7S mobo would be the start of a good server.
More than likely an AMD Opteron box, but the processor specs are not as important in this case as it is a data distribution box, so IO speed in all accounts is of the highest importance.
As for the last three crashes this month, are these all linked to the same server? Or are is FA staff just having issues with the new colo?
Except for the HD outage on the DB server, two of them were. The first outage we had at the colo was due to a blown circuit. It was replaced. The others were the result of unknown failures on the data box.

Given the many past issues we had at our old honest, Ezzi, it may be likely that something was damaged on the system itself. Where that damage occured? Well, that's unfortunately almost impossible to say. Troubleshooting hardware failures that don't occur consistently are a nightmare at best. No one part is showing and errors, and we can't really point to anything in particular.
 

rednec0

Member
faulty hardware, faulty software; unfortunately all of this adds-up to headaches on both the user and the administration. i do like the rich-guy idea but what about possibly trying to win the good ol' lotto? i know its a shot in the dark, but it does have an opportunity for possibly getting the $$$ needed for a complete overhaul. also i'm sure when all is said and done ye ol' sledgehammer will slam down upon the oppressive hardware which has caused so many an ulser.

in the long run shit takes time and i wish i could do something yet i know i can't :(
 

Echo_wulf

Member
i really wish i could help you guys out... i know how the financial things can be so much of a prolem especially when it comes to servers... im not exactly sure on how many users there are on fa but if there was a way to try to get everyone to donate at least 1$ i am sure you guys may have enough of close to enough to get yourself a higher quality server... its sucks on all terms b/c you have to push out the money for a new server plus tehre are people out there wanting to post art or waiting for commission or whatever it is so that puts another stress handle on you all b/c many people may be angry and they just dont understand the technicalities of what you all have to go through to keep a wonderfull site like this up and running.. well i wish the best to you all and if i had some money to spare i would definatly be donateing...
 

Amber

Active Member
I don't understand why everyone is complaining so much about the site being down. This is a free site. I bet if they received $1.00 for every complaint about FA being down they would have enough money to buy better equipment so their would be no more failures. It's not their fault that there isn't enough support from their members to be able to afford the expensive equipment.

Poor Dragoneer's back must be in awful pain from everyone jumping on it... :(
 

SilverAutomatic

The Sound of Madness
So, it appears some of the most recent errors may have been caused by a server hardware fault. We've got some mixed signals coming from the server, and we're investigating them to try to resolve issues.

We are planning on purchasing a new server to replace the other until we can properly retrofit things. The new server is going to be ordered this week, but WILL cost roughly $1,000 more than we currently having funding for. We have a budget of roughly $2,200... the new system is going to cost us almost $4,000. The recent HD failure set us back roughly $200 from that goal.

If anybody is willin' to help out via donation please let me know or feel free to donate to the previous server fund here.

I don't get paid until Thursday, but after I filter out bills, gas, and food expences, I'll see what I can spare. But, until then... *searches through his car and couch for extra moneys*
 
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