Category: "Chicago DC"

Node2 - Reason for Downtime (08/05/2010)

August 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM

To begin, very early this morning at 3:04AM CDT (GMT-5) we received an alert that Node2 had gone offline. This was a hard crash, unlike most that are a matter of a simple reboot, after this crash, the server did not come back up without reverting to a previous kernel due to issues with the newer kernels loading. At the time, we just loaded up the old kernel and let it be to keep downtime to a minimum. This initial outage lasted about 40 minutes  (~60 minutes for an individual VPS + quota re-check). After a few more hours, at 7:56AM CDT we received another notification that Node2 had gone offline. We immediately began going over possible problems and solutions to determine what wasn't working and what could help get the server back online and fully functional to avoid further outages or any issues with service speed.

It was quickly determined that the only working kernel was an old kernel that seemed to have trouble allowing the server to utilize all of the installed RAM. For a VPS node, it is imperative that all of the installed RAM is available to the node without issue, otherwise we encounter subsequent crashes due to the RAM + SWAP being completely utilized.

Throughout the morning we have been going over many different possible solutions. Our first plan to resolve the issue came in figuring out what was (seemingly) wrong with the kernels that wouldn't boot. This came down to trying many different kernels, kernel parameters, and even compiling software that seemed to be interfering with the boot process. Despite all of this, nothing at all changed the behavior of the problems we were seeing.

After many hours of trying for a software solution, it was clear something wasn't right with the RAM. We tried changing BIOS options, but still the entirety of the RAM was not being recognized by the server. Ultimately the problem was pinpointed to be a faulty RAM stick. This led to all of the problems we saw throughout the software troubleshooting process. After hours of troubleshooting, replacing the RAM at around 1:50PM CDT finally resolved the problems on Node2.

We have seen very few hardware failures present as software/kernel boot problems in this nature. We admittedly spent far too much time banging our heads against the wall with a number of solutions that were not showing any promise, when we should have been questioning what triggered the initial outage earlier in the night. In the end, Node2 was brought back online at 1:57PM CDT, with VPS services coming back online shortly thereafter.

We would like to thank everyone on Node2 for their patience throughout the problems today. As our way of thanking you for your patience and honoring our SLA, you may request a one month service credit for this outage by e-mailing [email protected].

Node2 - Emergency Maintenance (08/05/2010)

August 5, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Due to issues this morning on Node2, we are running some emergency software updates and expect ~45 minutes downtime during the subsequent service resets. We apologize for this unexpected downtime, and would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

Update 10:50AM: We are encountering some problems running the updates, we hope to have service on Node2 restored ASAP.

Update 12:42AM: We are still working to get the problems resolved, unfortunately we still do not have a solid ETA.

Node5 - Scheduled Maintenance (08/03/2010)

July 30, 2010 at 12:34 PM

To address some possible hardware issues, we have scheduled maintenance for Node5 on August 3rd at 1AM CST. We expect this maintenance to last no longer than one hour. The maintenance window will allow for the replacement of a hard drive cable on Node5, which should resolve some issues we are seeing, and should also have a minor positive impact on performance once completed.

The maintenance for Node5 is still on schedule and will begin at 1AM this coming morning as planned.

The Node5 maintenance is now completed. :)

Metis Server - Unplanned Outage (05/25/2010) (RESOLVED)

May 25, 2010 at 3:06 PM

While resolving some service issues on the Metis server today we encountered a problem that required the server to be rebooted immediately, during the reboot it was determined that there was filesystem corruption on the primary hard drive, and we are waiting on a filesystems check to complete at this time. The estimated total downtime will be around 90 minutes, which leaves approximately 30 minutes for the remainder of the filesystems check. If this timeframe is to be extended we will update this notice here immediately.


We have determined there are further problems to the filesystems on the Metis server which require an additional filesystems check and repair, we do not have an exact ETA for resolution at this time, however we expect between 30 minutes and two hours to complete the remaining filesystems repairs.


The filesystem repairs to the Metis server have been completed at this time, and service is coming back online now for users on the Metis server.

Chicago DC - Planned Maintenance Window (04/28/2010-04/30/2010) (RESOLVED)

April 19, 2010 at 2:04 AM

Greetings fellow geeks!

All servers located in our Chicago, IL data center location will be undergoing a brief maintenance period that will require approximately 15-30 minutes of downtime per server.

The maintenance will consist of moving servers to a different location within the same data center. This move will lay the groundwork for some of our major service enhancements that will begin next month.

We have tentatively scheduled this maintenance period between the dates of 04/28/2010 and 04/30/2010. The move will happen between the hours of 12 AM and 3 AM CST on those dates.

Further updates regarding this maintenance will be posted here.

UPDATE (04/27/2010 @ 11:35 PM CST):

The previously announced maintenance window for the Chicago DC servers has been scheduled between 12:00AM and 3:00AM CST Friday morning (04/30/2010). The downtime per server should be between 15-30 minutes.

We look forward to continuing improvements for our services, stay tuned for many exciting announcements following the server relocation at the Chicago DC!

UPDATE (04/30/2010 @ 02:32 AM CST):

It looks like our initial estimate of 15-30 minutes downtime per server was a little optimistic, at this time we expect service to be restored within 1 hour to all Chicago servers. We apologize for the extended maintenance period and would like to thank everyone for their patience.

UPDATE (04/30/2010 @ 05:50 AM CST):

The maintenance for the Chicago DC servers has completed as of this time, note for users on Node3 you may notice an additional 10-15 minute outage as your quotas are recalculated, we apologize for this inconvenience. Once again we would like to thank everyone for their patience throughout the maintenance this morning.