Author Topic: Maintenance Windows this weekend  (Read 666 times)

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Offline Tech Support

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Maintenance Windows this weekend
« on: May 04, 2019, 12:27:16 AM »
Christ is Risen!!!

From midnight until noon, Eastern Time, we will be conducting maintenance on both Saturday and Sunday (most of it on Sunday, when most of our members will or should be at church).  During this time you may not be able to connect to the forum.

We will be changing the DNS configuration during these maintenance windows, and as a result a minority of members might have difficulty connecting after the maintenance is complete, on Sunday.


What you can do that might help is to flush your DNS cache.  Instructions for how to do this on Windows or a Mac can be found here: https://www.pcmag.com/news/364518/how-to-flush-your-dns-cache

If you are on a different device, like an Android phone or an Ubuntu desktop, just Google “flush DNS cache Android” or “how to flush DNS cache in Ubuntu”, et cetera.  Your router also has a DNS cache, and restarting it can clear it.

However, the DNS cache entries have what is called a Time To Live, or TTL, and this means that the cache will eventually clear itself, and the TTL values for OCNet have been minimized.  So, you should wait a few hours before attempting this procedure.

This is the last major scheduled maintenance window between now and our planned forum software upgrade, and we will be working to get it done quickly and correctly and with the least possible impact to your use of the site this weekend, particularly on Saturday.

Please PM reports of any problems you have accessing the forum.  You may not get a reply, but all bug reports are valuable.

If you need help accessing or using the site, please post a thread in the Technical Help forum and we will reply. Please do not send us complaints or appeals regarding moderation, or send tech support PMs to anyone else.

Please do not contact me for account support issues; contact Fr. George, if you forget your password, etc.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 11:25:12 AM »
Quick update:  I had to scrub the maintenance window last night due to an ISP-related issue, which is now being fixed, so we will be doing that maintenance tonight and then anything left over Sunday or Monday night.

Offline Eamonomae

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 03:55:02 PM »
Good luck maintaining Windows....LOL, you have a forced update even though you said no, LOL we reinstalled Candy Crush for you even though you uninstalled it, #getrekteeeeediot

Even though I am using Windows 10, and I overall like Windows 10, some things annoy me like that.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 03:56:51 PM by Eamonomae »
"Conservatives currently control every branch of the federal government, and yet they have never sounded so beleaguered in my lifetime. Elite cues still matter in American politics, and it is hard not to notice that the head of the Republican Party reacts like a toddler to any kind of setback. It seems hard not to conclude that conservative standard-bearers have become the real snowflakes in American politics." - Daniel W. Drezner

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2019, 04:10:22 PM »
This isn't the place for sharing your feelings about Windows, Eamonomae.  Direct that energy to the Non-Religious forum.  If you have specific advice or complaints for the tech team, PM the Tech Support user that opened the thread. 
Thanks.  --Ainnir
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 04:10:31 PM by Ainnir »
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2019, 04:42:14 PM »
Thank you Ainnir!    :)

To clarify for everyone, since the term is a bit of IT jargon some users might be unfamiliar with, a maintenance window is a period of time when Anastasios or I or another member of the Tech group, or our service providers, plans on doing work on either the forums or the systems which host the forums, which could entail an interruption of service during which time the forums might be temporarily inaccessible or read-only. 

It has nothing to do with Microsoft Windows, as Ainnir has pointed out, and the purpose of this thread is so that I can update users on the progress of the maintenance we are doing this weekend and also provide information on DNS caching, since we are going to be updating DNS records tonight or Sunday night, and some users might want to flush their DNS cache if for any reason they can’t access the site after the move.

Regarding this, by the way, when the DNS is changed, as a precaution I plan on leaving a copy of the forum running at the old IP address, with the News telling users they are on the wrong site and need to either wait or flush their DNS cache, and I will monitor that copy of the site so that I can assist any users who need help with that issue (of which, hopefully, there will be none).  That way, you won’t just find yourself unable to load the forum with no idea as to what has happened.

Offline Eamonomae

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2019, 05:14:03 PM »

It has nothing to do with Microsoft Windows, as Ainnir has pointed out, and the purpose of this thread is so that I can update users on the progress of the maintenance we are doing this weekend and also provide information on DNS caching, since we are going to be updating DNS records tonight or Sunday night, and some users might want to flush their DNS cache if for any reason they can’t access the site after the move.

That was kind of the joke.
"Conservatives currently control every branch of the federal government, and yet they have never sounded so beleaguered in my lifetime. Elite cues still matter in American politics, and it is hard not to notice that the head of the Republican Party reacts like a toddler to any kind of setback. It seems hard not to conclude that conservative standard-bearers have become the real snowflakes in American politics." - Daniel W. Drezner

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2019, 06:10:48 PM »

It has nothing to do with Microsoft Windows, as Ainnir has pointed out, and the purpose of this thread is so that I can update users on the progress of the maintenance we are doing this weekend and also provide information on DNS caching, since we are going to be updating DNS records tonight or Sunday night, and some users might want to flush their DNS cache if for any reason they can’t access the site after the move.

That was kind of the joke.
Eamonomae, joke or not, what is definitely the point is that this isn't the place.  This is the housekeeping board.  Further off topic posts will result in points.
Thanks.  --Ainnir
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2019, 11:29:31 PM »
Just so everyone knows, we will be going offline at some point tonight Tuesday night for a DNS transfer with the current database.  It won’t be for some hours, but there will be an outage, so please have fun in the interim.

Once were back up, we won’t have any major maintenance windows for a while, although we will have a minor one in a few weeks time while we upgrade the web server (not the same as the forum software upgrade, which is a more formidable undertaking).

* I am pushing the shutdown back one night because one of the preparatory scripts executing on the old server is taking longer than expected to complete; I’ve become lazy because of how much faster the new system is.  Everything else is ready at this point.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 08:38:04 AM by Tech Support »

Offline Olivia

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2019, 09:50:49 AM »
So with this upgrade, will all our posts, messages and profiles stay the same?

(Sorry I haven't been here in awhile, so I am not fully up to date on exactly what is going to happen. To me it sounds like the forum is upgrading the software it is running on so some things will change. But maybe I'm wrong.)
This is something cute and innocent.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2019, 06:10:39 PM »
So with this upgrade, will all our posts, messages and profiles stay the same?

(Sorry I haven't been here in awhile, so I am not fully up to date on exactly what is going to happen. To me it sounds like the forum is upgrading the software it is running on so some things will change. But maybe I'm wrong.)

No software upgrade is happening this weekend, and nothing will be changed or deleted.  When we upgrade the forum software, something which is several months out, we will script the database migration to ensure retention of all user data, but the user interface will be easier to read and use.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 06:11:11 PM by Alpha60 »

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2019, 06:29:26 PM »
A maintenance window will be occurring throughout the weekend, but any material downtime will occur only on Sunday morning, from midnight to 12 PM, Eastern, during which time most of our members will be in church (there is a small Orthodox parish near my house which meets in a rented Protestant church on Sunday, in the early afternoon, Pacific time, after the Protestants are done with their service and coffee hour, which I attend if due to work or illness I can’t make the morning liturgy at my main parish.)

Some users may experience DNS issues as described above, and a copy of the forum will be kept running at the old IP to assist them.

During the remainder of the maintenance window, there may be brief outages for supplemental backups and technical adjustments. 

Offline Tech Support

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2019, 10:20:59 AM »
OCNet experienced substantial downtime resulting from data corruption due to a denial of service attack on our legacy hosting provider on Friday.  Unfortunately some data became irretrievably corrupted; a few user signatures and a few threads were lost due to the incident, and a few other signatures of data contain corrupted characters and will be expurgated when the hardware migration is complete.

All other data was restored.   We will be completing the migration to the new system within the next 48 hours. 

Please PM reports of any problems you have accessing the forum.  You may not get a reply, but all bug reports are valuable.

If you need help accessing or using the site, please post a thread in the Technical Help forum and we will reply. Please do not send us complaints or appeals regarding moderation, or send tech support PMs to anyone else.

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Offline Luke

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2019, 10:27:53 AM »
What is a "denial of service" attack?  A hack?

Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2019, 10:37:49 AM »
Good to see some restoration of service.

Thanks for the tech team for burning the midnight oil many times over.

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2019, 10:42:32 AM »
What is a "denial of service" attack?  A hack?



It’s where someone floods a server with data in order to interrupt service and make it impossible for other people to access that server.   

For your peace of mind, I can positively assure members that OCNet’s internal security was not compromised, that no one gained unauthorized access to the forum or database, and that no personal  information or restricted information was in any way accessed or compromised.  Furthermore, OCNet was not the direct target of the attack.

So there is no cause for alarm, and no one needs to worry about anything related to the attack.  My only regret is a handful of threads, signatures and private messages were corrupted, because our system experienced severe corruption as an indirect result of the attack.

Please PM reports of any problems you have accessing the forum.  You may not get a reply, but all bug reports are valuable.

If you need help accessing or using the site, please post a thread in the Technical Help forum and we will reply. Please do not send us complaints or appeals regarding moderation, or send tech support PMs to anyone else.

Please do not contact me for account support issues; contact Fr. George, if you forget your password, etc.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2019, 10:45:15 AM »
Good to see some restoration of service.

Thanks for the tech team for burning the midnight oil many times over.

You’re very welcome.  :)  It’s been pretty brutal for Anastasios and myself, but we’re hanging in there.   Our goal is to provide OCNet service throughout the day for you and minimize disruption when we do flip the switch. 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 10:47:13 AM by Alpha60 »

Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2019, 11:30:28 AM »
Missed you guys.

Offline biro

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2019, 11:45:51 AM »
Thank you.
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist/works Warning: stories have mature content.

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2019, 12:05:20 PM »

You’re very welcome.  :)  It’s been pretty brutal for Anastasios and myself, but we’re hanging in there.   Our goal is to provide OCNet service throughout the day for you and minimize disruption when we do flip the switch. 
Thanks for the hard work.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 12:05:46 PM by Luke »

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2019, 07:02:51 PM »
My withdrawals were awful.  I was almost cured of OCnet.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 07:16:22 PM »
Thank you for your hard work.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2019, 07:55:26 PM »
I was almost cured of OCnet.
*gasp*  Sacrilege!!


Thanks for the tech team for burning the midnight oil many times over.
+1
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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2019, 05:48:27 AM »
Good to see some restoration of service.

Thanks for the tech team for burning the midnight oil many times over.

It’s been pretty brutal for Anastasios and myself, but we’re hanging in there.

Many thanks! :)

Offline Tech Support

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Re: Maintenance Windows this weekend
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2019, 04:28:40 PM »
The Tech Team has decided to execute the migration between midnight, Eastern time and midnight, Pacific time, with minimal downtime, so as to maximize your ability to enjoy the forums this evening.

Furthermore, we will attempt to schedule the downtime, to the extent that it is required for dumping the database, to occur a few hours after midnight, when our European or East Coast users will be in church.


Facilitating this is a change in the planned architecture on the new server providing greater security and requiring less downtime on this server.  This will be a huge improvement over what we had planned previously.

Once the migration has been effected, OCNet will be brought back online on the old server after Sunday church hours (on Sunday, May 26), solely for the purpose of assisting any users who are experiencing difficulty accessing the new site due to DNS cache issues.

We have the ability to connect to either server specifically, and in this manner, Alpha60 from the Tech Team and any needed forum staff will remain logged into the old server to assist users in connecting to the new server as needed.

Please PM reports of any problems you have accessing the forum.  You may not get a reply, but all bug reports are valuable.

If you need help accessing or using the site, please post a thread in the Technical Help forum and we will reply. Please do not send us complaints or appeals regarding moderation, or send tech support PMs to anyone else.

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