FYI - SERVER MIGRATION TO NEW HOST IN PROGRESS
Just a notice to inform you that we are in the middle of migrating to a new server and a new webhost. We will soon be housed at Rack Space http://www.rackspace.com who are considered by most to be the best webhost in the industry. Here are a few larger sites they host to give you an idea:
GE, Microsoft, 3M, Motorola, Delta Airlines, Siemens, Humana, Pfizer, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Hilton, Virgin, Sony Music, NFL.com, Miller Brewing Company, Columbia House, Hershey's, The Scotts Company, Best Buy, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, CBS News, ESPN, ABC Cable Networks, SafeCo, Schlumberger, Canon U.S.A., Cannon Instrument Company, U.S. Marine Corps., Liberty Mutual, General Refinancial Products Corp., Gherson Lehman Group, Winston Financial, Disney Online, Universal Studios, National Geographic, Oakley, Pioneer Electronics, Hearst Publications, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Crowley Maritime, J. Walter Thompson, Destiny Health, Select Quality Care, Millennium Pharmaceutical, University of Southern California, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Robotics, Loehmann's, Autoworld, Schlotzsky's, IronMan Triathlon, The Onion, National Automobile Deale! rs Network (NADA), Express Auto Parts, and KB Home.
This move took several weeks of intense research, planning and fundraising which I will discuss early next week in more detail. I can say now that we have received financial backing from 3 companies with a 4th currently in negotiation. Hosting at rackspace is NOT cheap (nearly 3x the cost of our previous host) so without this backing we could not have made this a reality.
You'll know who these companies are soon.
What does this mean for apuggers and those hosting sites with apug?
It should result in rock solid reliability and better performance. Rackspace has the most aggressive service levels in the industry with 24x7x365 support, guaranteed 1hr hardware replacement, guaranteed 100% network uptime (they have not had a network outage since 2001). Constant monitoring of our server and immediate action should anything cause an error. I have heard of webmasters coming back from a coffee break to find an email from rackspace describing a server fault, outage, and resolution. They have a philosophy of what they term 'fanatical support'. Over the past few days as I've been dealing with them all requests have been serviced immediately.
More details on the new server (for the geeks):
All high end components are used at rackspace and we have a dual processor Opteron server with 4gigs of ram which is roughly twice or more the machine our current server is (opterons also perform far better for mysql which is what our forums rely on). We have 2x10,000 rpm SCSI hard disks running Raid1 (basically mirrored disks so if we have a total disk failure nothing skips a beat, the site remains running on the mirrored disk and the bad disk is replaced within 1hr). We have our own dedicated cisco hardware firewall to protect our server, daily off server incremental tape backups + a weekly full backup for a full 2 weeks of data retention and a few other bits and pieces.
About the migration:
I have emailed all those hosting with us so if you did not get an email please use the apug contact us form and let me know.
The data is currently being copied to the new server as I type. I have hired a migration specialist to do this to ensure it's done properly and with minimal disruption. APUG currently uses a Cpanel server management system and the new server runs a Plesk system so this is also a cpanel to plesk migration (for those who are familiar). Once the data is copied over the specialist and I will begin testing the sites. When everything looks good, we'll prevent further posting on the current apug and do a final database copy from apug to the new server. The new server will then be 100% up to date and ready. I will then update our domain name to point to the new server. Some will be on the new server near instantly, some may take half a day or more as the domain name changes replicate around the globe. You'll know when you are on the new server when the forums suddenly become unlocked. You will also know we are about to do the main switch over when the forums become locked. Sorry I do not have an exact time but it is in progress right now.
Once on the new server I will keep the old server running for several days until I am sure our hosting clients have made a successful transition.
We've had our ups and downs over the last several months and I have been very unhappy about this on many levels. It is hard for me to accept your money and not provide the best service possible. The move should change this for the best. Shortly after the move I'll finally get that apug site upgrade going as well.