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Tim Stephenson (Archant IS)

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Everything posted by Tim Stephenson (Archant IS)

  1. On the plus side, it's a different error. This one can be blamed squarely on Windows File Replication Services, not replicating all files between servers.

    I'll see if I can establish where this page (messages.aspx) is missing and correct!

    Tim

  2. On the basis you've been able to post, I'm guessing this has been resolved...

    Tim
  3. Easiest fix is to clear your cookies, close the browser, then try again.

    Let me know if this doesn't sort it for you.

     

  4. [quote]Sorry you guys, however much work you have done, in the last hour I have had 3 of those big yellowy screens saying things like serve/error bla bla an unhandled exception was thrown etc etc. tresco[/quote]

    Next time this happens would it be possible for you to post or PM me the text of the error?

    Thanks

     

  5. All - if the system has logged you in as the wrong account, please log out and back in again.

    Firstly, there hasn't been any sort of security breech etc.

    What has happened is that during the upgrade work the user database from the "old" LivingFrance forum system has been merged with a larger userbase on our main forum system. As a result we've had to update all the Living France user account identifiers to fit the new system.

    Consequently when the new system tries to automatically log in anyone with a cookie containing their Forum user ID from the old system, the ID doesn't match the new set of accounts and the wrong information comes up.

    The user isn't fully logged into the system as the cookie's user ID doesn't match other security records. This is why some functionality works, and some doesn't.

    Unfortunately the only way to resolve this is for the people affected to log out of the system (which clears the incorrect cookie), and then log back in - which resets the account details.

    Thanks for your assistance,

    Tim

  6. All - if the system has logged you in as the wrong account, please log out and back in again.

    Firstly, there hasn't been any sort of security breech etc.

    What has happened is that during the upgrade work the user database from the "old" LivingFrance forum system has been merged with a larger userbase on our main forum system. As a result we've had to update all the Living France user account identifiers to fit the new system.

    Consequently when the new system tries to automatically log in anyone with a cookie containing their Forum user ID from the old system, the ID doesn't match the new set of accounts and the wrong information comes up.

    The user isn't fully logged into the system as the cookie's user ID doesn't match other security records. This is why some functionality works, and some doesn't.

    Unfortunately the only way to resolve this is for the people affected to log out of the system (which clears the incorrect cookie), and then log back in - which resets the account details.

    Thanks for your assistance,

    Tim

  7. All - if the system has logged you in as the wrong account, please log out and back in again.

    Firstly, there hasn't been any sort of security breech etc.

    What has happened is that during the upgrade work the user database from the "old" LivingFrance forum system has been merged with a larger userbase on our main forum system. As a result we've had to update all the Living France user account identifiers to fit the new system.

    Consequently when the new system tries to automatically log in anyone with a cookie containing their Forum user ID from the old system, the ID doesn't match the new set of accounts and the wrong information comes up.

    The user isn't fully logged into the system as the cookie's user ID doesn't match other security records. This is why some functionality works, and some doesn't.

    Unfortunately the only way to resolve this is for the people affected to log out of the system (which clears the incorrect cookie), and then log back in - which resets the account details.

    Thanks for your assistance,

    Tim

  8. Unfortunately as part of the forums upgrade we had to move some user's accounts around, which seems to have confused the system a little. Logging out clears the old data from your computer, and logging back in resets the cookie with the correct account details.

     

  9. The forum migration work is now complete, and normal service has been resumed.

    Some users have reported being automatically logged in as a different user. If this should happen to you, please just log out and log back into the system as your normal account.

     

  10. [quote]This is pagnol. I am logged in as adam goodrum![/quote]

    These problems should now be resolved.

    If not, please log out and back in as your normal account.

    Thanks

  11. [quote]www.stare-fr.com/archant.pngI thought it was kind of funny..![/quote]

    Tim,

    Unfortunately due to how Windows 2000 Server starts IIS following a reboot / IIS restart, rather than simply not responding until it's fully back up and running, the system goes through a few steps before serving "real" site content.

    One of these steps is to serve the default holding page in response to every request - which is followed by starting to serve real content again.

    Kind regards

  12. [quote]So what is it that is so dodgy ?The “problems with the servers last night” seems to be something of an ongoing issue (http://forums.livingfrance.com/shwmessage.aspx?ForumID=29&MessageID=53652).Whilst ...[/quote]

    I1,

    To answer your questions:

    We don't currently know why IIS is having so much of a problem running this site. IIS runs fine with fairly light loads. As soon as you try to get it to scale all manner of problems arise, unless you can copy Microsoft and throw 300 webservers at a single website.

    We are currently in dialogue with MS technical support, and they are reviewing the server logs to try and pin this down.

    Concerning the forum software, while it seems to have a few unknown rough edges, on the whole it's running ok. The same software is driving all our other forums without any sort of issues. Part of the work we're doing first thing next year is to merge both forum installations, migrating the LVF forums to our existing (and stable) installation.

    SQL server isn't anything to do with the problems. The servers are running at a maximum of around 3% peak load at the moment - well within the hardware's capacity.

    And on to the points

    1) Yes we did. We could have rolled back to the previous installation and started from scratch. We decided against this route and opted to run with the issues, working with the forum developers to resolve them.

    2) We don't find the current levels acceptable. Our aim is 100% uptime and reliability, which is reflected throughout the hosting platform, hardware and network architectures in use.

    3) Yes, and the problems are isolated to these forums. Other installations of the software are running fine. Once we've completed the migration and moved these forums onto the same installation used by our other sites, hopefully all the issues will be resolved.

    Kind regards

  13. In response...

    1) Yes, we do block inbound ICMP at both an external router and firewall level.

    2) If we didn't, pinging this wouldn't get you a server IP. You'll only be able to ping or trace to the loadbalancers. The network beyond that point is inaccessible from the outside world.

    3) We don't tend to setup DNS records for the "domain" level hosts. i.e. we point www. mail. ftp. etc (whatever's needed) at the relevant servers, but don't tend to bother with the actual domain. Even if we did, this wouldn't get you a website as we only configure the "www" alias on the webservers. This is for two reasons - the administrative overhead of administering a large number of sites across multiple servers (the fewer host entries / aliases the better), and because our "publishers" tend to want to promote www.sometitlesname.com.

  14. [quote]Hi Tim Thanks for the suggestion of using wildcards in the URL referred to in the Firewall Ad blocking tab. It seems to have done the trick, all is well again. Once again many thanks Paul[/quote]

    Hi Paul,

    That's good news. Thanks for letting me know.

    Tim

  15. [quote]Acccording to Tim Stephenson from another post quote " There were unfortunately some problems with one of the servers last night, which is why some of you may have been experiencing occasional "out of...[/quote]

    Thanks for that David.

    Maybe that post of mine should have read ..."normal service *should* be resumed" !

    We're trying to get to the bottom of these errors at the moment. For now, should you see one please just hit refresh. This should redirect you to one of the other webservers and let you continue to browse the site while the failed machine is automatically recovered.

    Regards

  16. [quote]Anyone tried MySQL, it's free and seems well developed? We use SQL itself here, so I have not played with MySQL personally, but I here good things. S[/quote]

    I'd second that - give MySQL a look. In its latest version (5.02) it contains many of the advanced features needed to support enterprise applications, and is an excellent performer.

    No flat file or application based database (Access, FileMaker etc.) can really provide good performance with large datasets or more than a single user. Once your application starts to grow, "real" RDBMS systems such as Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server or SyBase are your only real option.

  17. [quote]Hello Forum Admin Great to see increase in speed but since the server move the problem relating to unable to see posters name and control panel not being visible has returned i have reconfigured Nort...[/quote]

    Paul,

    This is probably related to Norton Firewall. If you try browsing the site without this enabled, do you still have the same problems?

    The server move will have caused this because the URL the forums use has changed. It's now http://forums.livingfrance.com

    This is due to various reasons as explained on other threads.

    In advance warning, we will probably need to change the URL again (3rd change) when the rest of the site is moved across. At this point the address will go back to www.livingfrance.com/forums, or something similar.

    Suggest you configure Norton with a URL based on wildcards - *.livingfrance.com/* - if this is possible.

    Regards

  18. There were unfortunately some problems with one of the servers last night, which is why some of you may have been experiencing occasional "out of memory" errors.

    The problems have now been resolved, and normal service resumed.

    Regards

  19. [quote]The new servers seem (mostly) faster, though can on occasions still be slow.The functionality aspects seem no better (e-mail notifications take you to the 1st page rather than the one the post is on, ...[/quote]

    Because the work to migrate this site has been brought forward, and as there are obviously isn't much time left between now and Christmas, we have had to limit the upgrade to simply moving the forums wholesale across to the new servers.

    When this is revisited early next year we will complete the upgrade, and migrate all other aspects of the site across.

    At this point we'll also be able to move these forums onto the same forum installation and database as used by our other sites, which doesn't seem to be affected by these problems.

    If we can get this done sooner we will, but otherwise please continue to be patient with us until next year.

    Regards - and thanks,

  20. [quote]Sorry everyone but it isn,t any quicker for me, still waiting and waiting and waiting for page download Janey[/quote]

    Janey,

    This would depend largely on your internet connection. If you're still using some sort of narrow band link (basically anything other than ADSL or higher capacity leased links), then the site's performance is still going to be fairly slow.

    There's unfortunately nothing we can do about this....

    Tim
  21. [quote]Thanks for the message Tim, I don't know whether to thank you for the new much faster site or crucify you, for taking so long to sort out what was quickly becoming a pain in the backside. Still it i...[/quote]

    Miki,

    Fair comment!

    Unfortunately the only reason this has taken so long to sort is because my development team has been tied up working on other projects. Some of these projects are now drawing to conclusion, and as such have released some time to allow us to deal with issues such as these.

    Work to complete the migration of the site to the new hosting platform was originally scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2005, and should still happen as planned. This will see the rest of the site moved across, with work focused on the online shopping sections.

    The speed increase is here to stay, and the hardware we're now running should be able to scale well beyond our projected traffic for next year.

     

  22. [quote]Yes, much faster but I couldn't log in for ages (good I hear some shout !) then shut down Zone Alarm and bosh, I logged on immediately (coincidence?), will see what happens later. Now, hopefully all ...[/quote]

    Miki,

    Your Zone Alarm problems may have been due to the forums URL changing from www.livingfrance.com/instantforum to forums.livingfrance.com. If there was some sort of configuration entry for the old URL it will need to be altered to reflect the new one.

    Hopefully now you've been able to login ZA will be a little happier, and not cause problems next time.

  23. [quote]Thank you Tim. I can confirm that on my dialup connection there is a just-noticeable speed increase, though it is still a bit slow compared with other forums. So far the operation seems much more con...[/quote]

    Thanks Will.

    Unfortunately although you probably won't see a massive speed increase over a dialup link due to the it's limited capacity, anyone using a higher-speed connection or broadband should definitely see a performance increase.

  24. [quote]It seems that Miki's campaign has paid off and the promised move to the faster servers has happened ahead of schedule. Thanks are due to James and the rest of the IT people at Archant, and to the di...[/quote]

    All

    Further to these messages, I can confirm that the LVF Forums have now been moved to Archant's new hosting platform.

    This was actually scheduled to happen towards the end of this week, but as another project has been completed ahead of schedule we have been able to bring this forward to today.

    Due to some other issues, the forums still are not running at peak performance. I am currently carrying out some database optimisation work which should help resolve this.

    Please let me know if you experience any further performance issues with this forum.

    Regards

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