Member Rara Avis
As many of you will recall, about six weeks ago we inadvertently lost a few hundred poems when our SCSI hard disk filled to overflowing. With over 146,000 threads, comprising some 1.4 million posts, our database uses up a whole lot of disk. I've been nursing the server along since then, clearing space where I can to make room for new posts, while waiting for delivery of a new and bigger SCSI drive.
This morning, I received word that the drive had arrived and would be installed tonight. Yikes!
The surgery on Artemis is scheduled from midnight to six a.m., EST, and quite obviously the forums must be closed during that time period. But before putting Artemis under the knife, it's also necessary to backup our rather huge database to Apollo (the main site's server), just a for a little CYB. And that presents a bit of a conundrum.
The whole reason to backup the database is so that it can be replaced should worst come to worst. Probably won't happen, but it could. The perfect solution, in terms of protecting our data, is to shut down the forums and then copy everything to Apollo. Should anything happen to Artemis, I have an exact duplicate of our live database. Trouble is, that would keep the forums off line for a very long time, and it's probably not even necessary. The alternative is to leave the forums open while I backup the database. The trouble with that solution is that, should I actually have to use the backup, anything posted after I make the backup copy will not be preserved. Probably won't happen, but it could.
In spite of the dangers, I've opted for the second strategy, with just a touch of the first thrown in for safety. It's going to take all of today and most of the evening to move our huge database across Ethernet wires. I'll start with the Archives, then move to the Discussion forums. Anything you post in the Archives or Discussion forums, from this point forward, could "potentially" be lost should I have to later restore the database because of a catastrophe. Probably won't happen, but it could.
I don't want to take that chance with our Poetry/Prose forums, however. Before I back those up, I will close them, one at a time, and they will remain closed until Artemis comes out of the recovery room. That will eliminate the possibility, however remote it might seem, of losing data. It's very, very difficult to time this exactly, and I can't take a chance on not having enough time, so there will probably be several hours tonight when we are down to just one or maybe two Poetry forums. Open #26 will be the last to disappear. At 11 p.m. tonight, EST, I will shut down the forums entirely and backup that last poetry forum.
When the hardware people complete their operation, they will email me and I'll bring the forums back on line. Probably sometime Friday morning. Chances are that's all that will be required, because they'll have already moved all our data safely over to the new hard disk. If something goes horribly wrong, though, we'll be covered and, even if it takes more time, I'll still be able to get us back to where we were. Well, at least that's the plan.
* If you comment in the Archives or post anything in a Discussion forum tonight, be sure to make a copy on your local machine if you think it's important. Posts in those forums tonight will NOT be backed up.
* Poetry and prose forums will probably start disappearing sometime early this evening, say about six or seven o'clock, EST. Don't go ballistic when your favorite forum disappears. It'll be back tomorrow, all safe and secure.
* The forums will be shut down tonight about 11 p.m. EST and will remain closed until early Friday morning. Our resurrection time will depend on both the hardware team and on how much sleep they let me get.