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Main HDD failure on server, back online...


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#1 Kitelife

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 08:26 AM

Hi folks, the Kitelife web server experienced a total failure on the main hard drive sometime last night and we're still restoring some of the sites... However, our daily back up was taken sometime yesterday morning so there will be some posts missing from the last half of yesterday, 1000 apologies, but that's where we're at.

Kitelife is still being restored (huge site, tons and tons of files) but most of our clients are back online.

John Barresi

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#2 Jeepster

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 08:39 AM

You might check to see if Ben wasn't instrumental in bringing down the site ... you know how much he hates to be wrong ... and he did forget where he was last weekend. Hmmm.

Isn't it a sick feeling to have a hard drive go bad suddenly? Especially when you haven't backed up your data ... I learned that the hard way last year. An afternoon's lost postings is not bad!

Cheers,
Tom

#3 Kitelife

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:00 AM

Indeed, I've learned a lot of hard lessons over our 7 years of providing web hosting solutions.

Our server is in a secure datacenter (been with them for 5 years), so they handle a great deal of these things for me...

At home, I use a Drobo unit (BeyondRaid) for all my data, even the laptops and desktops are backed up to the Drobo.

John Barresi

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"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
(found in a fortune cookie - possibly an Einstein quote)

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#4 Theresa

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:03 PM

Thanks John!!

I've had a few phone calls and inquiries here too!

Good luck with the restore!!

Hugs,
T

#5 Kitelife

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:37 PM

It now appears we may have to actually mount the back up hard drive instead of copying from it to a new drive, having issues restoring some of the hosting accounts via the usual method... Will keep you posted.

John Barresi

johnbarresi.com | kitelife.com | learnkites.com | teamiquad.comkitemap.org
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President - American Kitefliers Association

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
(found in a fortune cookie - possibly an Einstein quote)

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#6 Kitelife

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 02:07 PM

Forgot to mention, this would *again* reset things (posts, etc) to what we had yesterday morning.

I hope that's not the case, but it's more than likely.

John Barresi

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President - American Kitefliers Association

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
(found in a fortune cookie - possibly an Einstein quote)

My full list of kite articles - kitelife.com/author/john-barresi
 

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#7 HedgeWarden

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 03:57 PM

Backups - phooey!

Backups are more likely to fail than the original file system.

1. A corrupted file gets backed up, replacing the original good file.
2. The backup storage gets corrupted way-back-when, without notice.
3. The backup software is a bunch of [bad word]. E.g. the backup software I use, distributed by a manufacturer that aught to know better. My most recent experience...
I backed up all my data files,
Reformatted the HDD on my laptop, which had been corrupted by a bad RAM chip in main memory.
Reinstalled all software.
Restored the data files - the $^^%#% backup software had added a reference number to all the file names, and changed the share options. Took hours to manually repair the file names. The share options are still helter-skelter.

Years ago I was the system administrator for a UNIX system (in my "spare" time at work.) Set it to automatically backup to 1 GB DAT tape at night. Would often find the system completely hung and stalled the next day. The problem...

A non-recoverable write error on the DAT tape triggered..
rewind and rewrite (with no way to set limits on retries), which would..
ruin the tape after thousands of retries, and..
fill the HDD with error messages, causing the system to..
FREEZE. :kid_cussing:

Hopefully this useless noise message will still be here tomorrow, indicating that you were successful in convincing the backup software & hardware to do their jobs.

Here's rootin' for ya...

:rainbowwave:
-Howard
No, this is my first childhood!

#8 Dano

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 06:22 PM

..., the Kitelife web server experienced a total failure on the main hard drive ...



Interesting... No RAID ?

#9 awindofchange

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:07 PM

Was wondering bout the Raid myself. I couldn't imagine running a dedicated server without one.

#10 Kitelife

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:23 PM

Kitelife isn't exactly raking in the bucks since we don't actually sell kites and the general (active) community has reduced in size... It's been primarily a budgetary limitation for us, and this is the first major issue we've had in five years... However, it may be time to revisit the idea of RAID.

John Barresi

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(found in a fortune cookie - possibly an Einstein quote)

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#11 SynTaks

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 12:05 AM

Or the possibility of a remote mirror. Storage prices have come down a ton the past few years, just a matter of the data centers upgrading over time and then adjusting their offerings. Saw an ad for a 1.5TB external for 99$. I remember 10 years ago when a 60GB cost me that much, and I'm the young'n!

Alas, has the internet caught up with the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes? Possibly a carrier pigeon and a 32GB SD card may still be faster to the neighbors down the street.

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#12 Kitelife

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 11:46 AM

As nice as it would be, mirroring is bloody expensive, generally starting at quadruple what we're paying now...

Being an "organic" business that provides services in quantities proportionate to the number of kitefliers and kite businesses there are in North America, our budget is very limited... If I was able to work outside of Kitelife, it would be a different issue, but there would simply be no way for me to keep up with and apply due attention the various aspects of my business if I were to take employment outside of kiting.

Basically, there are two primary ways that my business can increase revenue...

1. Make more kitefliers (i.e. more customers for kiting - my #1 mission - which increases the size of the available market)
2. Open our own online kite store (problematical on a great many levels - no way jose)

The third way is hard to measure, which would be to make ALL of the Kitelife content (our own ezine, out of print mags, etc, etc) accessible only to subscribers... This however violates the principles under which I'm trying to operate, which is to make a wealth of kiting information available to everyone as a matter of course in an effort to promote kiting as a whole to those who might be exploring a new pastime.

Other than that, it's the same old, same old... Keep trying to increase the value and quantity of Kitelife content (magazine content, video tutorials, etc) so that we can bring more subscribers into the fold and potentially more advertisers, although the latter is becoming more and more difficult as kite stores continue to reduce their advertising budgets, relying instead on their own Internet leg work or walk in business.

There are precious few kite stores (or other businesses) who choose to sponsor Kitelife as a matter of course, purely in support of what we're perpetually doing both on the front line for kiting and behind the scenes... Into The Wind, Cutting Edges Kites and The Kite Shoppe are prime examples, the first two of whom have been with us since the very beginning in 1998, through thick and thin, based strictly on a common passion and love for the kiting community as a whole... They know what we stand for, they know me and my principles personally, and they do what they can to facilitate our efforts.

We currently have roughly 30 less subscribers than we did 5 years ago (just as the hardcore kiting community really started to see significant attrition), and we also have a few less advertisers as the field of successful stores continues to thin out along with their advertising budgets.

The only place we're starting to see some gain is in the web sites we're producing (a few new ones coming online very soon), but this revenue really serves to fill in the gaps left in other areas described above, and is minimal in the grand scope of things due the small size of my potential customer base (i.e. the kite industry and community).

Last overview, this is my only business... With my wife coming over to the US last year and being unable to work (legally, due to limited English language skills, and for many of the same reasons I'm not reasonably able to work outside of Kitelife), two people on one income plus the costs associated with immigration have put a significant weight on our available budget vs necessary personal income (rent, food, bills, etc).

More than you may have wanted to know, but there it is... Kitelife is in no danger of expiration, but it's more than a little tough to think about expansion and major upgrades right now.

John Barresi

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"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
(found in a fortune cookie - possibly an Einstein quote)

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#13 Murph

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:00 AM

At home, I use a Drobo unit (BeyondRaid) for all my data, even the laptops and desktops are backed up to the Drobo.


Drobos are great. Bought a second gen FW800 version (back when I had money) but I remember I had a few teething problems at first. They are (or were) quite finicky in as much as the unmounting procedure with its proprietary software. I suffered data loss myself (not the nicest thing.....not even sure what I lost) using the Drobo from either powercable working itself out or powercuts on occasions. And when it happened, I'd try to remount the drive and it wouldn't recognise it. ARrrggh!!

After saying all that I'd swear by it....but would advise if anyone is getting a Drobo to get a small UPS for it as well.

Anyways John, Good to see you got things up and running again and so soon.

Thanks
Chris




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