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Moderator: Debs from SiteSell

#1369503 by ken-admin
Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:09 pm
Tonight, at 11 p.m. Montreal time (Eastern), we will be doing some maintenance on the forums servers. The downtime will be 10-20 minutes. During that time, there will be no access to the forums.

And tomorrow, Wednesday, April 26, at 7 a.m. Montreal time, we will be performing some database upgrades.

[Edit by HE: see this post later in this thread for more in-depth details...

Help Elf
#1369705 by ken-admin
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:54 pm
Help Elf here.

This is a reminder of the maintenance we'll be doing tonight and tomorrow morning.

At 11 p.m. Eastern tonight (Tuesday night), the forums will be down for about 20 minutes.

At 7 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning (Wednesday morning), we will be performing database maintenance, including upgrading some of the servers. All SBI! tools will be down during this time. Your site(s), though, will remain available for all of your visitors.

The downtime should be about an hour. However, it could be longer.

However long it ends up taking to complete the maintenance tomorrow, consider it a great time to do some social media marketing, or writing and preparing an article for publication, or planning your next newsletter. Or use it to get all those pesky daily living tasks done that you've been putting off! :shock:

Until next time!

Help Elf
#1369725 by ken-admin
Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:56 pm

Help Elf here again.

Due to unfortunate miscommunication (er, Ken did not use that exact adjective!), the information I provided in the first post about the database downtime tomorrow (Wednesday) is incomplete.

First, it's not routine maintenance. It's fairly big, in fact. The sysadmin team is overseeing installation of new, bigger (more powerful) hardware for the database software. It's part of a larger upgrade that we're planning for our hardware.

This is a significant investment in SiteSell's ability to handle SBIers' future business growth. You may see a slight speed gain, but this is really about even greater reliability and planning for your expansion.


The bad news? Yeah, I knew you'd ask. :-)

There's a higher risk to this than routine maintenance...

  • There's a 50% chance that everything will be completed in 15-30 minutes.
  • There's a 45% chance that things won't go perfectly, but will be completed within 1-2 hours.
  • And there's a 5% chance that the hardware has some sort of failure. If that happens, the downtime could be anywhere from 8-24 hours.

Don't ask me how they get 45%! ;-) I suspect they just need to make room for that 5% chance that the new hardware may not live up to vendor promises.

We reduced those odds as much as possible before putting it into production by testing the heck out of it. But you only know that all is well when it faces the volume and variability of real life.

In short, it's kind of like studying for a trigonometry exam in high school. All should go well if you've done your homework. But you never know what you can't have known...

The worst case is a very specific kind of problem (less than 1% chance) that happens at exactly the wrong time. That could cause an outage of up to 24 hours to repair as we restore the old system, then scream at our vendor... after you scream at us!

Yes... u-no-wat does flow downhill. ;-)


The important question you're asking by now is this...

How does that affect me?

Here's what happens, whether it's a 10 minute outage or 12 hours....

1) Site Accessibility: Your site(s) will still be fully accessible to all of your visitors, plus the search engine spiders. Anything involving the database (ex., C2 submissions, form submissions) won't work, though.

2) SBI! Tools and Login: All the SBI! tools will be unavailable. You will not be able to send any emails. (However, any that are sent to you during the downtime will appear in your SBI! Webmail once we're live again.)

3) Forums: The forums will not be available because you won't be able to log in. (That's in addition to the forums downtime tonight).

4) Support: It will also be down. So if you have any technical issues that you need to contact Support about, please note that there'll either be no delay (if all goes well) or answers will take somewhat longer, depending on outage duration.

NOTE: If you have a scheduled newsletter mailout for tomorrow, you may want to delay it. If all goes well, you could then reset the date to the planned schedule.


I'm being extra-cautious with this note, since this has a small percentage chance of a longer downtime. It'll be a bother for you, but your site(s) remains open for business.

We'll be letting you know when we "go dark" on Facebook and we'll update there, too...

If all goes really well (50-50), you'll have just enough time to take a "bio break" and get a fresh coffee. If it takes longer, either take a well-deserved break or use the downtime to lay out another page or to plan some social media posts.

When it's completed, we'll announced it on FB and you'll have access to all the SBI! tools again. Here's that FB URL again..


Sorry for messing up on the post, as well as for the bother. We really try to keep scheduled downtime to the absolute minimum (ex., we group smaller projects together).

But this is a larger hardware investment -- we keep these as simple as possible (i.e., we don't combine with any other upgrades).

OK, everyone...

Fingers crossed!

I'll see you on the other side.
#1369729 by Jill from Westbury
Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:53 pm
Tomorrow sounds like a great day to search for a better smart phone. will most likely be up and running before I'm even done with my first cup of coffee! If not, well....I'll find something to do.

Thanks for the heads up! Good luck tomorrow.

#1369767 by Help Elf from SiteSell
Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:29 pm
Since you're reading this, then you already know that the database upgrade was successful. It only took about 4 minutes.

There's further testing throughout the day as software is added to the servers, but we expect things to continue to function as expected.
#1369769 by ken-admin
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:22 pm
Way to go, Gilles and David - our sysadmin's "extraordinaire."

And Rod - DBA master!

And to Clayton and the whole programming team!

SBIers may not see our sysadmin team, and that's the way it should be. No one sees the foundation of a building - we all take it for granted until something happens. We've been blessed to have a team that is obsessed with strength and security.

What a remarkarbaly fast and smooth upgrade! I know the amount of prep you put into reducing the risk of putting this new hardware into the real world of "production."

Guys, we may not see you, but we sure do love ya! :-)

All the best,
#1369778 by Jill from Westbury
Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:48 pm
I'm still on my first cup of coffee and completely forgot that the system might be down this morning. This is why I love SBI! You always over deliver.

Thanks for your hard work!

#1369808 by Jacki from Macleod
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:28 pm
Lois from Flowers Cove wrote:Page Manager not loading.
Elly from wrote:Pagemanager isn't loading for me yet. Bug or impatience?
Contact support and they can have a look - make sure to clear your browser history first, and see if that helps.
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