And we're back again, better than ever!

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emk
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And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby emk » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:49 pm

Last week, the old shared server was hacked. So rdearman and I worked in shifts through the night to move the forum off of his personal account and onto a temporary home on my personal AWS account. Along the way, we saw some great speed improvements. But because of the rush, I cut a number of corners. And because the site was on my personal account, there was no good way to keep track of what it cost, or to give rdearman lower-level administrative access.

So this weekend, I've been working to migrate the site off of my personal account and onto a new, dedicated AWS account just for the forum! This means that we can keep track of costs, and the site isn't mixed up with anybody's personal stuff.

And since I had a couple of days to do it right, I heavily enhanced the backend of the site. I migrated all the AWS account configuration into a tool called Terraform, which allows us to save the configuration in text files, add comments, and automatically apply changes across our infrastructure with just two commands. Here's Terraform in action:

Image

If you're technically inclined, you can find Terraform configuration on GitHub. And what do Terraform and AWS give us? Well, among other things, we have a fully automated deployment pipeline, with an "Approve" button to control whether a given version of the site gets deployed:

Image

This is implemented using Amazon ECS and Docker. For an overview of what this means, see this video:



The big payoff: In the future, it's going to be much easier to upgrade and test the site before rolling it out to users.

Anyway, my apologies for the downtime. But it feels good to have taken the time to do the job right, and to have everything on a dedicated account.
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Bluepaint
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby Bluepaint » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:51 pm

A humungous well done!
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby astromule » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:54 pm

Thank you very much for all your hard work! :)
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:09 pm

emk wrote:
Anyway, my apologies for the downtime. But it feels good to have taken the time to do the job right, and to have everything on a dedicated account.


Completely agreed. Once again, well done! :D
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Ah ! Le bon billet qu'a La Châtre !

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emk
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby emk » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:13 pm

astromule wrote:Thank you very much for all your hard work! :)

Thank you! It's great to see you on the forum again. I was just thinking about you while looking at some older posts. :-)

For folks who are technically inclined, you might enjoy checking out the forum's GitHub account, which features:

  • phpBB, our forum software.
  • superchallengebot, which runs the Super Challenge (and which rdearman and I are working to migrate to the new server as soon as we can!).
  • terraform, a project with all our AWS configuration for pipelines, deploys, and easy server upgrades, among other things.
We do accept pull requests, and the path from pull requests to deployed code is now much simpler and more automated. No more manual diffing of changes and uploading things to dodgy FTP servers! Just merge the PR, and hit "Approve" to deploy. We might even configure a staging server at some point to test changes before approving them.
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby Adrianslont » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:28 pm

Seems to be running really well. Thanks emk and rdearman.
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reineke
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby reineke » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:01 am

Thanks for your hard work.
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neofight78
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby neofight78 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:43 am

Thanks for the hard work, it's great to have the hosting on a more stable footing.

I don't know about elsewhere on the forum but on my log uploaded media seems to be missing/not displaying. See viewtopic.php?f=15&t=833&start=140

Any chance you guys can take a look?
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby emk » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:46 am

neofight78 wrote:I don't know about elsewhere on the forum but on my log uploaded media seems to be missing/not displaying. See viewtopic.php?f=15&t=833&start=140

Any chance you guys can take a look?

I'm aware of two issues with uploaded media: I don't think we managed to get all the most recent media files off the old server, because they were broken on the temporary site from this week as well (I went back and checked). Can anybody see really old image uploads? If it's just recent ones missing, maybe rdearman will be able to find them on then old server.

The other problem is that I can't upload new images right now. I think this is new. I'll look at this soon. My apologies for the glitches!
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Re: And we're back again, better than ever!

Postby neofight78 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:04 am

I've had a quick flick through the first few pages of my log and there is an old uploaded image that is displaying, so I guess it must only be more recent images that are missing.
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