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Downtime

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superpig

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Some of you will have seen the scheduled downtime we had today. Everything has gone fine, but I figured I'd explain exactly what I did.

We run the site on a virtual machine, which - since around March - has been hosted on one of our general-purpose servers, the same one we use for internal development work etc. Obviously that's not ideal, so we want to move the site back to the machine it used to run on (after wiping that machine out and rebuilding it, naturally).

We finally got the new server running last Wednesday with a brand new PSU and VMWare Server on top of a Linux. All that remains is to actually move the VM over to the new server, hook it up to VMWare Server, and turn it on.

The downtime tonight was preparing for that move. In order to move large multi-gigabyte disks around, it's recommended that you use the option in VMWare that splits a disk up into 2GB files; well, the current server wasn't created with that option, so I had to set up new disks and then copy all the data from the old disks to the new disks. This took longer than it should have done because the Linux distribution I was planning on using for the copying (SystemRescueCD) doesn't seem to support the LSI Logic SCSI controller that VMWare emulates. However, Zao in #gamedev pointed me at Trinity Rescue Kit, which did the job nicely, so a couple of "dd"s later the disks were replaced.

I also upped the size of the system disk (the one that stores Windows, etc) from 8GB to 10GB, and used qtparted to increase the system partition to match. No more low space warnings!

So we should see a bit more downtime tomorrow or Thursday when I actually move the VM to the new server - again it shouldn't be more than an hour or so. In theory it's nothing more than a 28GB copy and then 5 mins of VMWare setup, but I know better than to give optimistic time estimates where computers are involved. [grin]
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