Forum Downtime

Comments on this forum and Star Fleet sites
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Crash
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by Crash »

It's great to hear from you. How are things?

You know, when you mention it, all you've done my making it a circle is to cut out 21.5% of the image.
I found the theme's configuration file where you can turn that off yesterday. So, now it's off.
If you press Ctrl+F5 to clear your cache for the page, that should register.

I'll probably make a few other changes and go looking for some stock avatars to stop people from having to upload them themselves.
Dream big and bold and daring.
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felice
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by felice »

Thanks! Things are good, though I've been even more of a hermit than usual for the last couple of years.
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Crash
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by Crash »

It's been ... wild; very interesting times.

I would like to tell you that it's had no impact on the project.
Initially, working from home gave me more time to work on the game, but since the last version was released, nearly 2 years ago, we've had some exciting personal circumstances and I've been busy for about a year, working on lots of other matters.

I managed to get another chapter of my Rain Song story released and another one is quite well-along and I was working on the game again the other day, with a view to finally getting it finished.
Dream big and bold and daring.
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Bradster
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by Bradster »

Updated site is lookin' clean. Nice work, and thanks for staying on top of the updates, Crash!
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Crash
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by Crash »

It's been a while since the thread was updated but I wanted to let people know about changes with our host that are taking place, without discussing it on the site's front page...

The sites on Krystal's physical webservers are being migrated across to their public cloud infrastructure: Katapult, which is a huge array of VM hosts.
These servers are aimed towards their original compute application and not towards hosting large amounts of files.
All data on the server is replicated across 4x NVMe drives, which is excessive for our performance usage.

The Ruby plan wasn't cheap but it was good value, since it allowed us to host an unlimited amount of stuff.
xbomber.co.uk is around 30GB in size currently.
Krystal have decided to increase the cost of each hosting plan quite substantially, as well as significantly reduce the amount of storage on each plan.
So, in other words, everyone gets reduced down to the plan below, so Ruby essentially becomes Amethyst (which we once used) and you have to pay more.
In our case, Ruby has gone from unlimited storage down to 25GB which is too little for xbomber.co.uk to operate on happily.

The migration programme was announced in April and customers were told that this would incur no additional costs.
It only took them until August before the above changes to the hosting plans were announced.

One answer to this is to upgrade to the new Emerald plan, which is significantly more expensive than the price-hiked, neutered new Ruby plan, and gives us nothing additional that we want.

Sales have told me that we will be able to renew on the legacy Ruby plan but it's not clear, for how long that will be possible.
We'll just have to see what the renewal in February looks like.

I looked around at a few other hosts and either they were not appreciably cheaper, or there were very tight restrictions on database sizes or mailbox sizes, which presumably, they hoped you wouldn't notice before signing up.
So Krystal seems like the least bad option that I've found and their customer service is very good.

So don't worry. xbomber.co.uk will not disappear, nomatter what, but ultimately, this is the kind of nonsense that nobody can be doing with.
It's also a reason why social media and wikia have eradicated fan websites, while what 'fan websites' remain are often massively supported and sent pre-release screeners by studios in exchange for glowing reviews, as was seen with Star Trek: (not) Picard, Season 3.

With hosting, you expect that, with the advances in storage device capacities, that your disk space will increase if it changes at all but this is a reflection of trends where webhosts aren't really designed for sites like xbomber.co.uk anymore and we're being shoe-horned into a performance car, when what we need is a minivan.
Dream big and bold and daring.
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Crash
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by Crash »

Well, this is good: better than I expected.

I got the invoice for our hosting renewal and, I'm only being invoiced for what they're calling "Ruby legacy", which means that we can keep all the functionality of the old Ruby plan, before it was significantly shaved down, and I don't have to pay a lot more for Emerald - at least not for the next 2 years.

Krystal have been pretty solid with us, so that's good.
Dream big and bold and daring.
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felice
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by felice »

That is good news!
cpltony16
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by cpltony16 »

Glad they allowed for legacy pricing and functionality to remain (from the sounds of it).

Have you thought are about archiving content to somewhere like Google Drive (15GB free) for anything older than x years on the forums?
Not sure of the infrastructure and if off-loading larger files there and externally linking them back would be worth the time and effort.
Just a thought.
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Crash
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Re: Forum Downtime

Post by Crash »

Yes, we got a good outcome on that.
I have a feeling that all this change with the plans and pricing is a stopgap situation to bridge their decommissioning of their physical web servers and hoof everyone across to these new HCI servers.
Our migration was done in Feb and our original server was easily fast enough. But the new one is very brisk, from what I saw just after the migration.
I suspect that, once the costs of running the legacy hardware are out of the window, capacity limits might start to ease on the lower plans again after a couple of years.

The forum itself is quite compact - it's mostly just the size of the messages/user database plus the PHPBB software package.
What takes up space on the server is xbomber.co.uk and its heap of very big, high-res, low-compression images as well as executables for X-Bomber the game.

You're right that splitting certain things off is a good idea: so as not to have too many eggs in the same basket, but having everything together is convenient and when you're a paying customer, you have a little more control over things.
I do take a full backup of the site at work (which speeds things up quite a bit) every 6 months in case anything were to go wrong, which shouldn't happen.

Krystal are quite a good company and I have a strong antipathy to big tech companies and hyperscalers in the main.
Dream big and bold and daring.
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