We did a thing! It was awesome!

Last weekend, I spent 48 hours rebuilding and moving all the backend infrastructure around.  All that happened was a very short outage while we finished moving everything around between instances, but what this MEANS is that now things are faster, better, and more reliable!

If you’re not a nerd, feel free to ignore the rest of this post. However, for the nerds, this is what we’ve done:

  • We now have a multi-master database cluster, with a load balancer and floating IP address to ensure that we have zero database downtime
  • We’ve split out all our worlds into separate instances. This means if a server needs a reboot, we can reboot the entire instance that the world is on, without having any effect on any other worlds!
  • Dedicated t2.medium instance that runs map rendering.  This means we can start rendering the OTHER worlds on maps.mcau.org
  • The ability to easily and automatically create and destroy servers and worlds on demand.
  • Other cool nerdy things (ansible! redis! memcache!)

What this means for you is that things will be faster, better, and more reliable. What this means for US is that we’ll be able to do cooler things, easier, and faster!

vBulletin is dead, long live Discourse.

For those that haven’t been following the nerd news (and, that’s fine, that’s my job!), vBulletin – our forum software – has been having ongoing security problem after security problem.

I finally bit the bullet today and migrated everything to Discourse. Discourse is about the best forum software you can find at the moment, and it’s amazingly good.

Our forums have stagnated a bit recently, because vBulletin sucked so badly – I hope you enjoy Discourse a bit more!

The only downside is that you’ll need to do a password reset to generate a new password, as It’s impossible to import passwords, so it’ll need to be reset. Sorry!

Donations are fixed, again

I shut down Donations earlier this year, because we were having some problems with Paypal, and updates not being received correctly from them, and people randomly losing their D privileges.

This is now fixed! Once and for all!

Everything is now done automatically, and paypal tells us what to do. This doesn’t mean PAYPAL is going to be correct, but at least I know who to point the finger at when things mess up in the future!

So, if you want those sweet, sweet, D perks, you can go and click on Donate now and get your promotion immediately!


Donations are back!

After some head scratching and discussions, we’ve re-opened donations!  I’ve been trying to not take your money without a good reason as to why I’m taking it, and apart from the 30-odd-hours I spent writing all the new backend stuff for Donations, we’ve also got a brand new cluster of servers.

Yes, I’ve been spending your money on Minecraft. I know you expect me to blow it all on Blackjack and Hookers, but it turns out, computers are EXPENSIVE.

Admittedly, we now do own a massively large amount of computing power.  About 200 CPU cores, and 700GB of RAM, spread out over 25 HP Blades.  This is all good, but this has now exposed my next issue – we don’t have enough fast storage!

So my next purchase is going to be 18 500G-ish SSDs, and 3 servers to put them in, to act as our new Swift storage cluster.  Oh, did I mention we’re also now running on OpenStack?

Yeah, we’re nerding it all up here.  Anyway. Enjoy! And feel free to hit that Donations link up there and throw a few dollars our way 😎