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Site Migration Imminent (Updatex6)

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Update #1 (Sunday 9PM GMT): We are expecting to have the virtual machine for the site ready some time by the end of the day. It will run CentOS. A complete snapshot of the site's files (not database) has been copied over to San Diego (security- and privacy-oriented host).

Update #2 (Tuesday 10AM GMT): The target VM is now ready.

Update #3 (Thursday 8AM GMT): It seems likely that this migration will be delayed to ensure quality (no downtime) and adequate operation after the migration.

Update #4 (Thursday 6PM GMT): Data is being copied across at the moment.

Update #5 (Thursday 6PM GMT): Databases frozen in their current state to be copied across.

Update #6 (Friday 11AM GMT): The migration is complete. The databases in use are nearly a day old (but identical except statistics). Please report any issues you still find to DNS servers may take a while longer to synchronise and there will be another short maintenance window for resolving a minor issue.

SOME TIME in the coming week we will attempt to migrate the Web site and upgrade it, bringing improvements and making all the software up to date. This task is complicated because many modules are involved, several content management systems make up the site, a lot of data is being migrated, and replacements for existing modules may be difficult - if not altogether impossible - to find.

To avoid disappointments and in order to keep pressure low, this message is pinned here days in advance. Pessimistically predicting the most dire outcome, it is possible that in the coming day we won't be able to update readers (no new items), it is possible that the site will be down for a few hours (hopefully not days), and the appearance/structure of the site may be in a transitory state. The aim is to change nothing except at the back end.

I took a week off work in order to deal with Tux Machines and I hope to find understanding and sympathy in case the migration is imperfect or slow. I have been testing some parts of the process for well over a month, so I believe it may prove to be smooth sailing, but one can never know for sure until the actual transition (at DNS level) and upgrade (of Drupal, Gallery, etc.).

Regarding the Statistics section, it publicly broadcasts IP addresses of some visitors (interfering with our strict privacy policy that already had ads removed), so we shall look into possible replacements. The Gallery section may take a little longer to migrate because it takes up several gigabytes of database space that we don't yet have on the destination server (CentOS). If during the transition you wish to contact us (e.g. if the site is offline), then try E-mail, IRC, Twitter, etc.

Again, apologies in advance for any disruption of service; please be patient and help by reporting issues to us (e.g. broken links, DNS issues).

Best of luck

Drupal is a beast but 7.xx is stable enough right now. Best of luck Smile


Thanks, Hussam.

The migration strategy is still up for debate. One of the British government sites I support runs Drupal 7 (in several areas, intranet and public) and I get a similar experience with it in Techrights (Drupal 7 for front page). However, I don't lack much features here in Drupal 6. Drupal 6 does all that's needed for now.

At this stage, as I am a little paranoid about module compatibility, I still wonder if I should stick with Drupal 6 (for Tux Machines) until Drupal 8 is officially released.

This would save us from a two-leap process (6 to 7 and then 8, finding missing modules at each step).

Any advice on this would be appreciated. Messing up themes and functionality (even if temporarily) might not be a risk worth taking for just a few backend changes. Also, Rianne has very little experience with Drupal 7, whereas she's comfortable with this existing setup.

When a new virtual machine is ready (and I have enough DB disk space for Gallery) I will probably attempt a DNS change and revert back if it's a sordid mess. Susan, thankfully, is always around to offer help. She has been super supportive.

You can do it!

You can do it! Big Grin

Good luck with the move! For

Good luck with the move!

For what it's worth, if you can preserve the stories, urls and user base, then I'm happy. I think losing some other modules/functionality to having an up to date and secure version of the software is preferred or at least not a big deal.

Small rant: "security- and privacy-oriented host in San Diego"? I'd look at something in Iceland or Switzerland.


Yes, I know that national law is an issue, but I trust the person. I read that a Web host in the US (at least one) was forced to attach some bit of equipment from the NSA (to the server/s) because the NSA couldn't get "sufficient" access.

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