Sort-of Scheduled Downtime

Just letting you all know that James Andrewartha and I will be taking the server down on Sunday, probably in the afternoon (we are, after all, students). In an ideal world the shutdown will last around in hour. 11. Exercise: It is left as a philosophical exercise for readers to determine whether we do, in fact, live in such a world. []

The goal of the shutdown is twofold.

Firstly we’d like to upgrade the operating system to a later variant (the current Ubuntu distribution, to be precise). The purpose of this is to help us close to the leading edge of software development. In practice it won’t make a huge amount of difference, but when you fall too far behind active development it becomes harder to upgrade. We’ve also being having some stability issues with the current kernel release rebooting the server every few days, which is annoying but not show-stopping as the server reboots in 60 seconds or so.

Secondly we’ll migrate the scheme to use a virtual server setup so that the underlying hardware can share excess capacity with other users. Thanks to the generosity of donors Club Troppo has a wonderfully beefy server which makes this a pretty good decision. Not only does it make migrating Club Troppo to new servers easier, it makes it trivial to share resources with the University Computer Club who pay for our electricity and network connection. In future it would also make it possible for Club Troppo to have some degree of “failover” capability, though that’s some way off.

Update: The site will go down around 7.30pm WA Time.

Update 2: All done now.

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