Charlottezweb

Blizzard - Server Retirement - End of October 2012

Discussion started on Server Updates & Outages

After well over 5 years of solid performance, I'm planning the retirement of our server "Blizzard" at the end of this month.

The operating system ("OS") on this box reached end of life and whereas the hardware continues to perform amazingly, I'm making the decision to replace it in advance of any hardware failures.

The following email will be sent out via our Client Area (billing/support) system tonight. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email them to me or post them here. 

Thanks!
-Jason

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Greetings from Charlottezweb,

This email is being sent to all customers with hosting accounts on our server "Blizzard."

(If this email has reached you in error, please accept my apologies.  Feel free to email me and I'll ensure you're removed from our lists).

This server (Blizzard) was launched in early 2007.  Whereas it's still functioning fine, the operating system on it has reached end of life and hardware has changed over the years to where we've made the decision to retire it at the end of October. 

I will be migrating all accounts off of this server and on to our newest server over the next few weeks.  The new server runs cPanel like all of our servers so there should be no impact to your experience in managing your site(s).

Action Required:  Whereas I can move your hosting account(s) without your involvement, if you manage your domain name(s) independent from Charlottezweb you will need to update your nameservers on any domains associated with your account prior to the retirement date.  If this is not complete, your site(s) will go offline when the server is turned off.

As always, I'm more than happy to work with you if you have specific requirements around when you want to move.  Otherwise, my current plan is to move the accounts for anyone I haven't heard from on:

Saturday, October 20 or Sunday, October 21, 2012.

Once moved, I will email each customer to advise that their site has been moved and to let them know their new nameservers.  It will be their responsibility at that point to update their nameservers as soon as possible.

If you need help on how to update your nameservers, please reach out to me for assistance.  We also have incredibly easy step-by-step tutorial videos on this page:

http://www.charlottezweb.com/tutorials.php

Scroll down to the section titled:  "How To Update Your Domain's Nameservers (DNS)"

Given the age of this server, most accounts hosted on it are long-term Charlottezweb clients.  We hope you enjoy the performance boost on the new server and look forward to serving you another 5+ years!

Cheers,
Jason


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edit:  Fixed three spelling mistakes. 
#1 - October 04, 2012, 08:54:20 PM
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 05:50:11 PM by Jason »

I'm going to be sending a second notice within the next half hour to all customers with accounts still remaining on Blizzard.  My plan is to migrate them all this coming weekend.

If you have specific needs for your move, please contact me (reply to the email I send or open a support ticket) as soon as possible.

This server will be shut down in two weeks so we need to get all accounts off to ensure nobody suffers any avoidable downtime.

Please note that if you manage your own domain name, you will need to update your nameservers after I complete your move.  If your nameservers aren't adjusted prior to Blizzard shutting down, your services will go offline.

Thank you!
Jason
#2 - October 16, 2012, 08:40:14 PM

This is the email just sent to customers as a follow-up:

Quote
Hi [insert customer name],

Greetings from Charlottezweb!

This is a follow-up reminder that the server that your hosting account is on ("Blizzard") is being shut off at the end of this month:

[insert customer domain name]

Per the initial notice, I will be migrating all remaining accounts on this server to a new one this coming weekend on October 20-21.  Once complete, I will email you the new nameservers that you will need to set on your domain name to redirect your traffic to the new server.  This will need to be done as soon after the move as possible.

If your domain(s) are not updated before Blizzard is retired, your sites and email will likely go offline.

Please visit this forum thread for further details:

http://www.charlottezweb.com/forums/index.php?topic=1847

Thank you for your continued business!

Regards,
Jason Saunders
Charlottezweb.com, LLC
#3 - October 16, 2012, 08:57:18 PM

Just out of curiosity, how do we update our domain before the change if you don't email us the nameservers until after the move?
#4 - October 18, 2012, 08:59:25 AM

Just out of curiosity, how do we update our domain before the change if you don't email us the nameservers until after the move?

You don't want to update before the change or your site will go offline  :)

I can give you the nameservers in advance if you want them but if you make the change and direct your site to that server before your account exists on it, your site will go offline.
#5 - October 18, 2012, 09:04:18 AM

@stuie - basically, the way it works is like this;

1. New server comes online, both servers are operational.
2. Jason migrates data over to new server, both servers continue to work.
3. Customer is notified that they need to point their domains to the new nameserver to work with the new server.
4. Customer updates nameserver and now the new server serves their website(s) and no downtime occurs because both servers are active.
5. After customers have had ample time to update their domains, the now 'old' server (which has remained active, but no longer serves websites to changed domains) is decommissioned.

Because of this, no downtime is witnessed. However, you update too soon, and you'll have downtime.
#6 - October 18, 2012, 12:11:07 PM
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 12:14:01 PM by Mark »

Thanks Mark,

I added one additional step (2.1) below. 

It starts redirecting traffic very quickly however without the customer doing step #4 once the move is done, the domain will continue to resolve to the old server.  This means that once the server is shut down permanently, that domain will go offline.


1. New server comes online, both servers are operational.
2. Jason migrates data over to new server, both servers continue to work.
    2.1 -->  Jason redirects traffic from old server to new server so that new server becomes the "live" one.
3. Customer is notified that they need to point their domains to the new nameserver to work with the new server.
4. Customer updates nameserver and now the new server serves their website(s) and no downtime occurs because both servers are active.
5. After customers have had ample time to update their domains, the now 'old' server (which has remained active, but no longer serves websites to changed domains) is decommissioned.

Because of this, no downtime is witnessed. However, you update too soon, and you'll have downtime.
#7 - October 18, 2012, 01:31:07 PM

Thanks. I thought I was missing something there for a while.
#8 - October 18, 2012, 11:35:57 PM

I moved all accounts today and emailed all customers individually.

If you have any questions, please post them there or email me directly.

The server will be shut down on 10/31/2012.  10/30/2012

Thanks,
Jason

Edit:  corrected date per past post.
#9 - October 20, 2012, 05:33:32 PM
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 10:44:53 AM by Jason »

As a final reminder, Blizzard will be powered down on October 30, 2012. 

Please ensure you update your nameservers if applicable several days before that time to avoid any service disruptions.

Thank you,
Jason
#10 - October 24, 2012, 05:22:21 PM

Blizzard will be retired overnight.

For any customers who  have not updated your nameservers, they need to be set to the following immediately.  Your sites will go offline tonight if this has not been completed.

ns9.charlottezweb.com
ns10.charlottezweb.com

Regards,
Jason
#11 - October 29, 2012, 10:40:19 AM

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