Member Rara Avis
It's been a bit over two years, now, since the forums were split from the main site and moved to their own web server (as detailed in this thread). It was a necessary move, rather than a voluntary one, because Ceres just couldn't keep up with all the traffic from both sites. Thus, was born our current server, Athena.
It's hard to describe how happy I was with Athena. She was more than twice as fast as her older sister, with nearly four times as much disk storage. I upgraded Ceres several times, with more memory, with a second hard disk, but she was never a match for Athena. Ceres was eventually retired, and the server for the main site is now Aphrodite. The computer industry being what it is, Aphrodite is now even faster than Athena. There seems to be no crest to the computer revolution, so we all just keep climbing the megahertz hill.
Both Athena and Aphrodite have (if you'll excuse the pun) served us well. No complaints. But the rest of the world doesn't stand still, and web servers are constantly being challenged. In particular, the hackers of this world keep trying to find ways to sneak through the backdoor. I recently became aware of a potentially dangerous security breech on Athena, and a little research indicated it would be cheaper and easier to replace our two-year-old than to try to fix her.
To make what is a long story a little shorter, I ultimately decided to replace both of our servers at the same time. There are many advantages to doing so, not the least of which will be consistency. I will finally have two identical machines, with identical operating systems, and that will ultimately make my life easier. A LOT easier. That consistency also supplied new names for our servers, because it just so happens there are a pair of twins wandering those ancient Olympic ranges.
Apollo and Artemis went on-line two days ago.
Everything, of course, carries with it a cost, and the price of consistency isn't cheap. Doing it this way means that, for a time, we actually have four web servers running. Aphrodite is pre-paid until September, so it won't help any to rush that transition. But, Athena, being older, has been running month-to-month, and the sooner I can get us moved over to Artemis, the sooner the costs will decrease. The next payment on Athena is due July 27, and I would very much like to get the forums moved before that date arrives.
Moving a database as extensive as ours, with over a million posts, won't be instant. But it will almost feel that way compared to moving the domain name to a new IP address. We have limited control over that, and will largely be at the mercy of the DNS system in place. With most web sites, that's not a big deal. When I move netpoets.com, for example, no one will even notice. Some visitors will end up seeing the old copy on Aphrodite for a few days, while others see the identical copy on Apollo. It won't matter because both copies will be the same. But that strategy doesn't work on an interactive site like pipTalk.com, because things here change by the minute.
Once the data is moved from Athena to Artemis, I have NO CHOICE but to turn off the forums on the old server. Otherwise, the data won't remain consistent and we'll lose posts. After the forums are turned off, it may still take a day for many people to see the new server because of the DNS propagation. That will depend on your ISP and how often they update their DNS database. Some people may not be able to get to the new server for several days. Essentially, the forums may be "gone" for a while.
This move, unfortunately, is going to be much more rushed than I would like. I always prefer "soon" when I have a choice, but sometimes those choices are tough ones to make. Shooting for the end of July is pressure we could all live without, but the financial savings if we succeed will be fairly substantial. And challenges, after all, make each day a little more interesting, don't you think?
Nothing will happen for at least a week, as I'll be busy configuring the new servers at least that long. I'll post a new Announcement when I have an actual target date, but thought I'd give everyone as much notice as I could.