Author Topic: Site moved to new server  (Read 2296 times)

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Offline namida

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Site moved to new server
« on: August 17, 2018, 07:58:58 am »
So, I felt we had somewhat outgrown NearlyFreeSpeech. Nothing against them at all; they were great, but the site has grown to the point where it's more cost-effective to run it on a dedicated VPS than on a hosting service like NearlyFreeSpeech.

I was going to wait for feedback from other staff but... well, y'all know what I'm like with getting things done in a rush. :P

So, yeah. We're live on a new server now! :D

(On a side note, this does mean that further donations should not be made through the old link.)

There might be some more brief downtime over the next few days, due to also transferring the domains to a new registrar (as NFS gets expensive for domains if you aren't hosting with them).
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline namida

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2018, 10:13:26 am »
Should be no more downtime now (except due to DNS propagation issues, maybe). The last bit was while I was tweaking the caching settings, but I think they're spot on now. :)
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Offline Simon

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2018, 08:31:49 am »
Some (Giga, Yung, Akseli) still have trouble accessing the site.

This is because some domain name servers, your routers, or your machines still have the old resolution of the domain lemmingsforums.net (to nearlyfreespeech) cached (instead of to 142.93.6.137, the host since 2018-08-17).

Domain information has TTL (time-to-live) and that must expire at every node (all DNSs, your router, machine) before you resolve properly. Some nodes (especially routers) might not care about the TTL and cache it for longer than wanted (a few days). Everybody uses different DNSs and routers, therefore everybody has a different time of when lemmingsforums.net resolves to 142.93.6.137 for them as desired.

We could have prevented this by lowering the TTL on lemmingsforums.net, waiting a week, then move the server. But we didn't do that; even I only think of that now, 3 days after the move. Since we didn't lower the TTL in advance, all you can do now is wait. It should work within the next days.

Maybe clearing browser cache helps but I don't believe it.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 08:51:19 am by Simon »

Offline namida

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2018, 09:27:33 am »
Quote
We could have prevented this by lowering the TTL on lemmingsforums.net, waiting a week, then move the server. But we didn't do that; even I only think of that now, 3 days after the move. Since we didn't lower the TTL in advance, all you can do now is wait. It should work within the next days.

Most browsers clear DNS cache when you exit.
Try at a command prompt (doesn't need to be run as admin, but might help): ipconfig /flushdns (obviously this is specific to Windows)
Reboot any modems / routers.
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2018, 09:32:11 am »
Most browsers clear DNS cache when you exit.
Try at a command prompt (doesn't need to be run as admin, but might help): ipconfig /flushdns (obviously this is specific to Windows)
Reboot any modems / routers.

That doesn't work sadly, we tried it. As I understood it, even your provider saves some kind of cache and clearing that can take ~ 3 days. All you can do is to wait there. Manually clearing your cache can help and speed up the process, but it also can do nothing.

Link with more infomation: https://www.siteground.com/kb/what_is_dns_propagation_and_why_it_takes_so_long/


Offline ccexplore

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2018, 06:52:50 am »
For people who are afflicted and don't want to wait, note that (if I understand the issue correctly) they can always access it in the meanwhile using the new server's IP address directly:  https://142.93.6.137/?index.php  (your browser will likely show a security warning about the site certificate not matching the address, which in this case is expected because the certificate has lemmingsforums.net as the address rather than the numeric IP address; pick the "okay" option to proceed to the site even though the browser warning will likely say not recommended).

Alternatively, a VPN might also help though a bit more hassle to use, especially just for one website.

Offline mobius

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2018, 10:00:54 pm »
For people who are afflicted and don't want to wait, note that (if I understand the issue correctly) they can always access it in the meanwhile using the new server's IP address directly:  https://142.93.6.137/?index.php  (your browser will likely show a security warning about the site certificate not matching the address, which in this case is expected because the certificate has lemmingsforums.net as the address rather than the numeric IP address; pick the "okay" option to proceed to the site even though the browser warning will likely say not recommended).

Alternatively, a VPN might also help though a bit more hassle to use, especially just for one website.

this is the only thing to finally work for me.
Note a few things however;
-this works easily for me in Seamonkey; on Firefox it doesn't seem to let you ignore the warnings, although there are probably ways around it I just haven't looked into it yet.
-When I click on links to the site within the site it links to the old IP and error page.
EDIT: not every link. I can navigate around fine using this new IP/address but old links on the forum (for example written by a user in a post) don't work.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2018, 01:09:01 am »
EDIT: not every link. I can navigate around fine using this new IP/address but old links on the forum (for example written by a user in a post) don't work.

Yeah, you'll have to manually rename the link in that case.  Most browser should allow you to copy the link, for example by right-clicking the link and the select a command like "copy target" in the popup menu.  Then paste into address box and replace www.lemmingsforums.net with 142.93.6.137.

======================================

I think something might still not be set up quite correctly, as I'm still having issues accessing the site while on my workplace's computer/network, but not on my home computer/network.  More interestingly, the workaround to use the IPv4 address works for my workplace computer, but not if I use the IPv6 address instead.

For reference, here are the symptoms for me at work:

At first, the forum home page loads fine and shows recent posts (so it's not like it's somehow showing an old copy of the forum from the old location), but then clicking on any link results in the error shown in attached screenshot, at which point you are stuck in that state (even if you manually go back to the home page).  Restarting browser and/or clearing browser cache/history sometimes could allow the home page to load successfully again, but you still end up with the error again on next click of any link from the home page.  This has never happened before on the old location.

If I ran "tracert www.lemmingsforums.net" the output shows the IP address it resolves to, and it is the new one, so I don't think this is a case of the new location not yet propagated to DNS.

If I access the forum via IPv4 address (142.93.6.137), that works perfectly.  On the other hand, if I access the forum instead via IPv6 address (eg. https://[2604:a880:400:d1::826:4001] ), the resulting experience is pretty much same the above.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2018, 04:04:57 am »
An additional clue pointing to issue being IPv6 related:  on my home network where things work correctly, tracert resolves lemmings.net to IPv4 address, while work network resolves to IPv6 address.

This "database" error is actually showing up in the admin-accessible error logs as well, where you can clearly see that it never showed up until starting around August 17th when the move was presumably performed.  In past few days it has now become the overwhelming error reported to the log (last count is over 2100 such entries in log, many of which has an actual logged-in username, so it's clearly affecting more than just "me at work").  The error details:

Database Error: Incorrect string value: '''' for function inet_aton
File: /var/www/lemmingsforums.net/public/Sources/Subs.php
Line: 2752  [also seen line 2779 reported, involving same function and same empty string value]

It might well be an SMF bug since AFAIK we didn't modify anything ourselves in that source file?

Offline namida

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2018, 04:14:30 am »
For now, I'll try disabling IPv6 access (or at least, removing it from the DNS - should take effect quickly, TTL is only 60mins) and see if that helps.

EDIT: Done. If you've been having issues, please give it 24 hours (though it should only take 2-3hrs at most), and then let us know if they continue.

EDIT AGAIN: Apparently, IPv6 breaking SMF2.0.x is a known issue. It's fixed in 2.1.x, but an upgrade to that will erase customizations and even installed mods (which themself may or may not have 2.1.x compatible versions), so an upgrade will be a big task. However, there's apparently a mod that also fixes IPv6 issues. I will look into this at some point over the next couple of days.

On a side note, we're on SMF 2.0.11; the latest 2.0.x appears to be 2.0.15. We should also upgrade that at some stage, though this is likely unrelated to the IPv6 issue. (EDIT: Apparently even the upgrade to 2.0.15 will affect mods / changes, but at least they should still be compatible and thus easy to restore. The big issue will be modifications we've made ourselves...)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 04:26:06 am by namida »
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Offline nin10doadict

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2018, 04:52:53 pm »
It's letting me back in now. Yay~ :thumbsup:

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2018, 06:32:26 pm »
I confirm that it's working fine now at my workplace, so it looks like IPv6 was indeed the issue for that problem.  At this point hopefully everyone should be able to access the forum normally w/o workarounds.  If not, please report on IRC and provide some details of what you see (especially any error texts).

Offline namida

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2018, 08:28:46 pm »
At some point - probably after I finish LPVI, or next time I'm just waiting for replays on it - I'll look into this.

Since disabling IPv6 seems to have made the site work for everyone, and there's no pressing urgent reason that the forum software needs upgrading (just the usual "it's good to have the latest"), the only thing I still consider a somewhat urgent matter is the email problem.
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Offline namida

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2018, 01:35:42 am »
Forum emails should now be working again.
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Offline mobius

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Re: Site moved to new server
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2018, 12:55:49 am »
I've not been getting emails. I've gotten at least one PM since August 27 but didn't get an email.

[I use gmail and it updated since the forum move, idk if this might have something to do with it]