Tuesday, Apr 5, 2005

Title: 1417

April 2005


Title: 1417

April 5, 2005
12:01 AM

All right. Here’s the deal. Nobody get all worked up just yet – here’s the facts. I got off the phone with Ukyo, and I have a complete 100% understanding of what happened, and once everything gets working, I may treat you to a nice little line-by-line description of it all. However, here are the facts right now – FACT A. The SQL server and the Apache server are properly linked, and SHOULD work okay. Mac Hall has been working using this setup since Saturday, so the hope is everything will work fine. FACT B. Despite the fact that they are linked, I have NO IDEA what kind of load the full site will put on the servers, or which server it will do it to. The way I see it, there are three, possibly four things that would add load and possibly overload one or both of the boxes – the banner system (all jokes aside, losing it simply isn’t an option), the strip posting/archiving system, hard drive access, and possibly the number of direct PHP includes I have set up in the code (this one I have no idea, I don’t know enough about the workings of PHP.) Any one of these things could take things down, and if they do, I’ll revert to the 60% stripped down version of the site. It sucks, but it works. FACT B. As of right now, I have NO redundancy. I don’t have a load balancer, I don’t have tandem servers, nothing. One box goes down, the whole site goes down. This is temporary, as I have a few options open to me, but it’s the situation. Again, if anything goes wrong here, I’m going back to the stripped down site.

However, there is a possibility, so slim I’m not even giving myself over to the hope that it is so, that things will not in fact crash. There is a possibility that things will work just fine. If this is the case… RIGHT THE HELL ON. WE’RE BACK IN BUSINESS. I’ll make an official call on it in a day or so, once things have had a chance to settle down. Now, we got home earlier today from our honeymoon, and I realize the site was down for a few days. I made an announcement to the stripped down site that covers these issues – I’ll post it below. I just want to thank everyone again for sticking with me. I’m doing the best I can – I promise you that.

Okay, so here’s what’s been going on these past few days. Friday afternoon, now i’m talking, LAST friday afternoon, Ukyo gives me a call and tells me I can put up the old site design again, the HTML and SQL servers have been linked together. I say, booyah grandma, and put the old design up. It works fine for maybe…an hour. Tops. Trouble is, the two computers are linked remotely – one datacenter to another – the lag from which slowed the two boxes down, and it went *poof*. Ukyo gets down to the datacenter some time over the weekend, and it looks like it’s some kind of hardware issue – we’re not sure what yet.

Anyway, a few days go by, and by thursday afternoon, Ukyo thinks he may have figured out what it is – or part of it, anyway. He gets it up, and by the time I get home, things are working great. I think “okay, I’ll upload tomorrow’s comic now and get it out of the way”. But of course, by the time I go to upload it, the site is down again, and Ukyo has left the datacenter. So I give him a call and get him on the job, but this PARTICULAR thursday, I’m heading down to L.A., because the following morning, I’m getting on a big white boat which, over the course of three days, will be taking me and my wife to Ensenada and back, all while giving us a wonderful oceanview place to sleep and whatnot. This big boat, owned by Royal Carribbean, did not have internet access in the room, so until this very morning, when I met up with some friends in L.A. after getting OFF this big white boat, I had no idea that the site was INDEED up, and it was stil showing tuesday’s comic. Agh.

Well, my butt was covered as far as the Iron Man thing goes, but that left you guys out in the cold – and that freaking sucks. So here’s what I’m going to do, so that you will always be able to get to the comic every day.

1) IF the site is not up – check www.reallifeforums.com. Bookmark this now, so you have no excuse later. Head to the section entitled “The Comic and the Characters”. In this section, if the main page is down, I will have posted the comic of the day, most likely in a thread called “Comic XXXX, Tuesday, April 5 2005” or something like that. That’s my contingency plan. I’ve been doing this on the Daily Grind site, but now I’ll be doing it on the forums here as well.

2) I will be forcing Ukyo, AT GUNPOINT if I have to, to install some server monitoring software I recently became aware of. I want to know where the bottleneck is, so I can throw some damned money at it and FIX it. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to have a server that runs at a decent speed. Once the software is installed, I will be running a series of tests to find out which aspect of the site is causing the problem – be it the comic display/archive system, or the banner system, or if all the calles for PHP includes are doing it. I WILL find out what the hell is going on. I ask that you bear with me through this process, because I’m far, far beyond giving out an E.T.A. for this sort of thing.

3) I will look into possible redundancy plans in case something goes wrong with the site. There should be no reason, barring a freaking E.M.P. over the datacenter, why the site should go down. Despite how freaking unprofessional things have been here lately, I TRY to take the handling of this site very seriously. There are a LOT of you guys, and it sucks to not have my comic available to you.

So, stick with me. I’m going to find out what’s been happening to those damned boxes, and I’m going to have it fixed. Period. Dot.