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Socoder -> Off Topic -> New Server - Aug 2017

Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 06:01
Jayenkai

New Server - Aug 2017


Quirks.
1. The email sender is piss poor. I'm looking into it. Might have to get rid of that feature, already!!

2. The daily SQL Backup seems to freeze the server for about 10 seconds. This only happens once a day, but.. Hmm..
Again, I'll look into that.

3. We're back on shared hosting, so php errors are once again popping up in the site, instead of in the error logs \o/yeay\o/
If you spot any, screengrab/copy+paste them and pop them into one of the many "Things are broken!" threads that have appeared over the past 3 months or so. (This thread will do.)

Other than that, I *think* everything transferred ok.
Let me know if anything hasn't!

Enjoy the new site.
FWIW : The "Page Took" stat on the lower right has decreased by about half, so .. Yeah.....

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Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 08:11
Jayenkai
Server Speed Comparison Test
Please do give this a go, and let me know your results.

Download both of these files. They're each identical and are 4Mb.

Watch the download time for each and compare.
Old Server vs New Server

Which was quicker, by how much, and where in the world are you? (So I can see if, for example, USers are getting a raw deal, since the server is now in the UK.)

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Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 08:55
Jayenkai
OK, I think most things are now working.

Wordpress has seemingly lost all my "Featured Image" images, so none of my Release posts had header images anymore. Done the most recent three so that they show up on the sidebar, but CBA doing more than that.
Bloody fussy bloody Wordpress.
Grrr!
Additionally, no idea where it stored its "Site Menu", so I have to try to remember what on earth I had in the thing.
*shrugs*

Other than that, I *think* everything is more or less running as it should be.

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Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 09:16
Jayenkai

Why the Switch?


OK, storytime, buckle in..

Two years ago (I think?!?) I upgraded to a Dedicated Server.
The transition went smoothly, and things seemed to run well.
GoDaddy charged me £95 + £15 for a Parallels Plesk frontend + I felt it a good idea to pay for an extra £15 "Daily Managed Backups"..
.. Managed being the keyword, there.

So, £125
.. A MONTH..

The upgrade went swimmingly, and "Oooh" thought me, "With all this power, THINK of what I could do!!?!?"
I created my online scoreboards, and have done a lot of new stuff to the sites.

The Break


Then, one day, something very odd happened, and the whole site collapsed.
(This was about 6 months into having paid for these daily backups.)
So, I contacted GoDaddy and asked for a backup restore.

It took them a day and a half, and at the end of it, rather than doing a "Managed" thing of any sort, they simply dumped the contents of the backup onto a separate folder on the drive.
Not only could I have fucking well done that myself, but it also didn't include any of the SQL databases, or .. ANYTHING..
Essentially it was "Here, now fix it yourself".. Far from the "Managed" backups I was expecting.
Furious, but more worried about getting my site back up and running, I ignored the bullshit and set about using what clues they'd left me, to fix the fucking thing myself.

The Plesk

About 5 months ago, I got an email from GoDaddy.
Parallels Plesk were no longer going support v11 (the one on the server) and were moving to v12.
GoDaddy didn't offer a server upgrade (DIY if you want it) but they did offer a similar dedicated server at twice the price, with the new v12 on it!! Ooooh, super deal!!!
So, I ignored it.
A month lalter, GoDaddy got in contact again. v11 was now "depreciated" and would no longer be supported. Bugs, security issues and all, would be left as they were.
No support. No upgrades. No nothing.
.. But.. They'd still take £15 a month for it, because why the fuck not.

OK, first thing's first. If I'm going to move the site to any other server, the first thing I have to do is fix the "Decade old PHP/MySQL" crap..
At this point, I launched into a complete rewrite of SoCoder.
Smooth sailing.
Surprisingly smooth sailing!

And along the way, I learned some neat skills for Server Management and other stuff.
.. Maybe I COULD upgrade the server myself!?!

The Backups

Simply put. They stopped.
For the past 2 months or so, for some stupid reason, GoDaddy haven't been backing up the server.
I only noticed this when I went into my settings whilst searching for that Server-Stutter.

In the past couple of weeks they've suddenly started sending me emails warning me about this, and how I have to look into the settings and faff about.
A) Pretty sure this must've happened about the same time as they stopped supporting Plesk.
B) Pretty sure this isn't my fault.
C) Pretty fucking sure they've still been charging for it.
D) "Managed"?

£15 a month for NO BACKUPS, and £15 a month for OLD UNSUPPORTED PLESK.
And £95 a month for a server that was getting slower and slower with every passing download.

You know what..
...Fuck that shit.

That's why I've moved.

Help if you can

Please please please do the test listed above and let me know if this server is good enough to continue on.

Thanks, and apologies for all the probable server issues.

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Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 12:36
Evil Roy Ferguson
I'm in the eastern US; the download took about 2 seconds from either server but it was very slightly faster on the new one.
Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 12:47
Jayenkai
Thanks. That's. good to know.
No worse is good

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Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 14:11
GfK
Hard to say accurately on such a small file but:

Old server: ~4s
New server: ~2s
Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 14:23
Jayenkai
The fact that the "Page Took" value is now about 1/2 of what it was on the old server, is rather telling!
I'll be keeping my eye on that, though. .. Just in case!

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Posted : Saturday, 12 August 2017, 16:31
rockford
New server was definitely at least twice as fast for me.
Posted : Sunday, 13 August 2017, 03:46
Jayenkai
Oh boy.. I really need to look into the mailing thing.
There's a very definite spike at the exact moment that Ferret3D's registration email was sent.
May be time to set up one of those crown doohickeys, to handle mailing seperatly.

Also, I'm hoping that today's Repeat Poll is simply as a result of me copying things before it's changed, yesterday... but I'll have to double check.

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Posted : Friday, 18 August 2017, 02:51
waroffice
as previously mentioned, anything I can do to assist, I know the systems guys personally and can ask for assistance if you need it.

Also being about 4 floors above the new server is not really a fair test for me
Posted : Friday, 18 August 2017, 09:16
rychan
Are you using something extravagent to do the mailling then Jay? I can't imagine you are but it shouldn't be causing a server spike!

-=-=-
Web / Game Dev, occasionally finishes off coding games also!

Refresh Games - Game Dev Blog
Posted : Friday, 18 August 2017, 09:17
rychan
How much is the zen server btw? Just wandering for myself a bit what you're getting for your monies.

-=-=-
Web / Game Dev, occasionally finishes off coding games also!

Refresh Games - Game Dev Blog
Posted : Friday, 18 August 2017, 09:51
Jayenkai
I think I need to get a script to write a file/sql thing, then have a separate cron job to occasionally hop through and send them.. as opposed to my current lazy-ass method of doing it in-script.

Lazy oldskool dev!!

The server is Shared Hosting, and the amount according to my bank account is £15.59 (so that's with tax and other gubbins)
That'll be monthly, btw.

Compare that to that approx £150'ish a month I was previously paying for a slow bodged broken GoDaddy server, and you can probably see at least one benefit, straight away...



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Posted : Friday, 18 August 2017, 10:27
rockford

Posted : Friday, 18 August 2017, 13:45
rychan
Yeah, that is a damn nice amount of resources there!

-=-=-
Web / Game Dev, occasionally finishes off coding games also!

Refresh Games - Game Dev Blog
Posted : Friday, 18 August 2017, 15:03
Jayenkai
I'll have to keep an eye on Bandwidth, but we're not using TOO much..
First day had over 30Gb transferred, but that was me uploading everything
We're typically using about 5Gb at most, per day. That's .. manageable, I think...
But I'll have to watch for Spikes.. (Dislike!)

Meanwhile..
Glad to see newbie Curtastic was able to figure out how to do a Showcase post! I keep wanting to make it neater, but .. if it works, that's good enough for me!

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Posted : Saturday, 19 August 2017, 05:21
Jayenkai
Seems that "for security reasons" (read : Because idiots that don't know what they're doing are allowed to make eCommerce websites) php's Random number generator no longer accepts seeds...

FFS!!!!
If, for the past week, you've been noticing the avabars all randomly changing colour, that's the reason.

This morning, I wrote my own pseudo random number generator.
It's not the best in the world, but it'll only ever be used to the avabar generator and the Pixelart-Scrawl generator.


For those, it works fine.

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Posted : Saturday, 19 August 2017, 05:36
GfK
Used to develop for a DVD-based system that didn't have random number functionality. Trick I ended up using was picking a pseudo-random start value, a prime number chosen the same way. I think it was based on system up-time or something.

Then just iterate through the array of whatevers in steps of <primeNumber>. As long as the array was a) bigger than 1, and NOT exactly the size of the prime number, if you get beyond the array length, just mod it to the length of the array to wrap around. Plenty good enough for fake randomness.
Posted : Tuesday, 22 August 2017, 13:58
Jayenkai
Spent the past couple of hours settings up "Background Emails"..
If you post to a watched thread, or a PM or whatever else emails people, the email is no longer "In script, Live".
It instead gets dumped to an email-output database, which a Cron job runs through every few minutes.
Having stress tested it (SO many emails!!!) I'm fairly happy that it's running silently in the background!

New Registration Emails and "Forgot My Password" Emails are NOT done in the background. I've left them as "You'll see the server pause for a couple of seconds" LIVE occurrences.
IMO, those are the sorts of emails that shouldn't be left to a background task which may or may not actually perform the task!
If I were signing up, I'd want to know things were actually happening.

.. So, yeah, with any luck, you should find that everything's a teensy bit smoother!

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Posted : Wednesday, 06 September 2017, 13:33
Jayenkai
Tonight's back'n'forth with Zen Internet Hosting.

Discovered (whilst trying to post the Gem Sprites generator snippets) that the server was 403'ing whenever the command ReadFile("") was being sent via a form. (eg, when it's reading the .ini file, in the middle of my generator's script!!)

Can't have that!!
I emailed them, and a little back and forth went on.
The dilemma.. Is this going to be a "Whitelist" fix, or a "Disable the security entirely" fix..

I opted for a Whitelist fix, for now, but if you spot a 403 in the wild, do please let me know what's caused it (or at the very least, email me whatever it is you're trying to post, so I can figure it out!)

There's still the "URL - 403" which occasionally happens if you ONLY enter a URL into an input-text box.
I've opted to leave this in, for now, as it seems like it may be a fairly useful security stop to have.
But if it starts getting silly, I'm sure we can get that sorted, too.

Anyhoo, if you see a 403, let me know where and how.

SoCoder apologises for any glitchiness during this transitional period!

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Posted : Friday, 08 September 2017, 02:24
waroffice
heres a question for you guys, we have a ton of developers here, not many games being developed true but coding is coding. I think there will be some vacancies soon, anyone interested zen.co.uk/careers

we did have a job advertised, a user interface designer, as you can tell we never filled the post!!! the jobs page is awful