Server upgrades and other miscellaneous fun stuff…

*sigh* It’s been a busy week for me at the office, but I’ve also been having to deal with some of the problems involving MK Online’s backup system. After the hard drive crash that occurred back around Christmas, I’ve come to realize that simply backing up the databases like we have been doing isn’t the best option. We need to back up EVERYTHING involving the site. I’d been working on a possible solution for the past week or so, and am on the verge of implementing it. At the same time, I’ve been working on improving the data redundancy on the main D’Arque Cathedral server. Well, the work came to a head last night on both projects.

On the main D’Arque Cathedral server, most of the data storage is on a single 80 GB hard drive. I also had a spare 120 GB drive I had left over from when I upgraded my main PC. The 120 GB drive would have been overkill for the MK Online’s backup; frankly 80 GB is overkill but it’s what I had. So, what I did was get on Newegg’s website and order an identical 120 GB hard drive to the one I had. It arrived Wednesday, but I wasn’t at the office to receive it. So, I brought it home last night and got to work installing it. The idea was to set up the two 120 GB drives in the main D’Arque Cathedral server, and set them up as a software RAID 1 configuration. (RAID 1 = mirrored drives.) It took a bit longer than expected as it was highly recommended that I put the two drives on separate cables/controllers instead of the same one, and I couldn’t get a cable that would reach both the CD-ROM drive and one of the hard drives. So, I had to grab my unused drive controller card and put the drives on that. (The CD-ROM is hooked to the motherboard.) From there, it was just a matter of partitioning the drives, setting up the RAID, formatting them, and then copying the data from the 80 GB drive to the RAID. It’s up and running with the two drives; I’ve also got a program running that monitors the drives and will send an email to my Blackberry if there’s a serious problem.

The 80 GB drive will go into a test server I have. It’ll have to wait until Sunday, though, as the server’s motherboard won’t support the 80 GB drive, and I used my spare PCI IDE drive controller to get the RAID 1 working on the D’Arque Cathedral server. I’ll be going by Fry’s tomorrow, anyway, so picking up a new drive controller card won’t be a problem. What I’ll be doing is setting it up where the main MK Online server will do a secure file replication every morning; all site files (including hosted sites) will be synchronized with the copy on my test server. That way if something happens, we don’t lose more than a day or two’s worth of files. I’m not interested in having another catastrophic loss, and this will prevent it from happening again.

Oh, well. The script for the replication is ready; I just have to get the new drive into the test server so we can begin the actual backups. The RAID 1 on the main D’Arque Cathedral server is working fine now, so life is good on that front. Hopefully this will put an end to any further extended downtimes on either site.