It has been a long week since our move to the new hosting provider in Germany. Our move across the Atlantic worked out fairly well in the grand scheme of things. The new servers are performing well, the site is more stable and we have a modern infrastructure for most of our projects.
However, such moves are not without problems. While we didn’t encounter many problems, the most significant one we did encounter was the failure to copy two small replication packets off the old servers. We didn’t notice this problem until after the server in question had been decommissioned. Ooops.
And thus began a recovery effort that is almost worthy of a bad Hollywood B-movie plot. Between myself traveling and the team finishing the most critical migration bits, it took 2 days for us to realize the problem and find a volunteer to fetch the drives from the broken server. Only in a small and wealthy place such as San Luis Obispo, could a stack of recycled servers sit in an open container for 2 days and not be touched at all. My friend collected the drives and immediately noticed that the drives were damaged in the recycling process, which isn’t surprising. And we can consider ourselves really lucky that this drive didn’t contain private data — those drives have been physically destroyed!
Since then, my friend has been working with Linux disk recovery tools to try and recover the two replication packets off the drive. Given that he is working with a 1TB drive, this recovery process takes a while and must be fully completed before attempting to pull data off the drive. For now we wait.
At the same time, we’re actively cobbling together a method to regenerate the lost packets. In theory it is possible, but it involves heroic efforts of stupidity. And we’re expending that effort, but so far, it bears no fruit.
In the meantime, for all of the people who use our replicated (Live Data) feed — you have the following choices:
- If you need data updates flowing again as soon as possible, we strongly recommend importing a new data set. We have a new data dump and fresh replication packets being put out, so you can do this at any time you’re ready.
- If the need for updates is not urgent yet and you’d rather not reload the data, sit tight. We’re continuing our stupidly heroic efforts to recover the replication packets.
- Chocolate: It really makes everything better. It may not help with your data problems, but at least it takes the edge off.
We’re terribly sorry for the hassle in all of this! Our geek pride has been sufficiently dinged that our chocolate coping mechanisms will surely cause us to put on a pound or two.
UPDATE 1: The first recovery examination has not located the files, but my friend will do a second pass tomorrow and turn over file fragments to us that might allow us to recover files. But that won’t be for another 8 hours or so.