POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.general : Server failure : Server failure Server Time
18 Sep 2021 16:23:27 EDT (-0400)
  Server failure  
From: Chris Cason
Date: 14 Mar 2021 22:10:49
Message: <604ec229$1@news.povray.org>

The povray.org server had a catastrophic hardware failure on March 9 and 
it was decided that the best course was to replace it completely.

In doing so I chose to do a full, fresh install of the OS rather than 
attempt to re-install the old one, and only import the data from our 
backup that we needed to get the various services back up.

As the failed system was 15 years old and had been through multiple 
upgrades and patches this meant quite a lot of work to replicate configs 
with the latest software versions and required re-compiling all the 
custom tools (e.g. the NNTP to Web gateway) we have build over the 
years. Hence it's taken longer than I would have liked to get it working 
again, but IMO it's worth the effort.

The NNTP server is the first to be brought back online and at the time I 
post this is the only service running and publicly accessible. Posts 
made here will eventually migrate to the web view once that's sorted and 
back up; in the meantime only NNTP users will see this message.

Before anyone asks - yes I did consider pointing the web sites 
(povray.org, irtc.org etc) to another server and in fact I did for a 
short time, with a simple placeholder page at the root of each site. I 
quickly noticed from the logs, though, that almost instantly I was 
getting lots of web crawler traffic (google, bing, etc) and that the 
server was returning "404 not found" to all accesses excepting the root 
placeholder page that I'd put in.

That wasn't desirable as it tells the crawlers that the pages that they 
are trying to refresh are no longer there, and they also see the simple 
root page as no longer having any links. I considered changing the 
config so it returned the placeholder page for all URL's, but that had 
the downside that it would replace any cached content with the 
placeholder, screwing up future searches.

I decided that rather than muck around with other solutions (e.g. return 
a temporary failure for all URL's) I'd be better off spending my time 
getting the new server configured, so I pointed the sites back how they 
were. I didn't know at that point that the server was toast and thought 
it might be only a day or two and haven't had time since then to 
re-visit it.

Finally, I'd like at this point to give a MASSIVE shout-out to Andrew at 
Netplex Internet in CT, who not only provided us with the replacement 
server (a HP DL360 G5 that they were no longer using) but also stayed up 
until 5am on Saturday getting it set up and configured to the point 
where I could remotely log in and start the setup.

-- Chris

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