March 2006 Archives

Emergency outage 3/30

Update 3/30: The database migration went seamlessly, so now both the web server and the database server are running off of the same server box.

There will be an emergency outage of the blog server from 8 AM to 9 AM on Thursday, March 30.

Currently, the web server runs on a box named “Communitas,” and the database server runs on a box named “Gravitas.” Hackers recently compromised the web server on Gravitas; fortunately, this security breach did not affect the database.

We have decided to move the database over to Communitas. This will allow us to better monitor security because we only have to worry about one box.

The migration should take considerably less than one hour to complete. We will take the web server offline at 8 AM, then make a backup of the database. After we import the backup, we will bring the web and database servers back as soon as we can.

About the 3/25 outage

The blog server was down for at least twelve hours on Saturday. A required Apache server module had been accidentally deleted from the server, and the web server crashed some time after midnight.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

If the blog server goes down again for any extended period of time, you can check the Current Outages list on the OIT Help Desk main page for updates.

You can also subscribe to the new Help Desk Outage RSS feed RSS icon.

SendMail finally works!

| 1 Comment

SendMail, which is a server-side agent that allows web scripts to send e-mail messages, now works on the blog server. I apologize that this has never been functional on the server before now.

What does this mean for users of the blog service?

Well, by default, any time someone posts a comment or TrackBack to your blog, and it does not get filtered into the Junk Comments or Junk TrackBacks folder, you should receive an e-mail notification. (There are three levels for comments—Published, Moderated, and Junked.)

The e-mail contains links that allow you to visit that entry directly, or to edit a comment, delete it, or promote a moderated comment.

Also, the password recovery feature (which can e-mail a forgotten password after the author provides the correct password hint) should work now.