Keenan

Forums Postmortem

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Hi all,

 

Most of you are probably aware that the forums have had... difficulties... lately. The issues we faced were hardware ones, similar to the issues Independence faced not too long ago. These issues were exasperated by some malicious traffic - not entirely a DDOS attack, but more like a swarming of bots. The extra traffic put a strain on failing drives which reduced disk I/O significantly. The result was a slow-down and eventual shutdown of the database.

 

Rather than working with Hetzner on hardware replacement, we've moved the forums to AWS! Specifically we are using a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) server within their Lightsail offerings. For full transparency, I feel a quick explanation of what this means is in order.

 

Lightsail is a "virtual private server" offering from AWS. For all intents and purposes the servers are private, though many servers can share the same hardware. This isn't a bad thing in today's world of mega servers, and it's why the Lightsail option is far cheaper than the hosting we have with Hetzner. On Hetzner we were basically on "bare-metal", which means the hardware wasn't shared. The forums and the wiki shared the host, and it was ultimately overkill for two web applications. While we're now on shared hardware, I expect performance to be close to what it was when the forums weren't acting up. If we find that the performance is degrading, we can always increase our instance size. One of the benefits of cloud hosting! Just in case it comes up as a question: When Wurm transitions to AWS it will be using full EC2 instances for hardware, not Lightsail.

 

And yes, the Wurmpedia will be transitioned to Lightsail sometime after the coming release. For now it should still be functional as it's database is not hosted on the same machine. Only the code that drives it is and so far that's fine. Like I said though, there is a plan to transition it and retire the failing host entirely.

 

So far the new host has been smooth for me. I'll leave this topic open for others to comment on their experiences.

 

Edit: I should point out that there are background tasks running that may slow things down slightly. This is due to the upgrade I've also installed as part of this move. Any sluggish response should pass in another hour or two as these tasks finish.

 

Thank you all for your patience during this.

Edited by Keenan
Left out information!
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Fun read.  Thanks for taking the time to explain it all!

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An excellent post Keenan! even though the technicalities of it are beyond my comprehension it does exude a calming influence of stability within it. The experience just points out how valuable a communication point the forums are for the playerbase through this plotting against them by microscopic entities.

 

=Ayes=

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Well done. There is a reason AWS is such a huge success.  It works.  This is actually the most exciting news for me from Wurm in years. All the content and whatnot is great, but doesn't do anyone any good until you put it on a platform that is dependable and can grow with the needs of the game.

 

5 gold stars to whomever made the decision to make this move.

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