HVCN Upgrade Page

HVCN has successfuly undergone a scheduled hardware and software upgrade that began at 9:45 am Wednesday, January 2, 2002. HVCN returned to service at 10:10, well ahead of schedule. Conference software (Backtalk) has not been installed on the new server but will be added soon. Until then, access to the conferences is not available, but the conference database is unaffected.

We decided to proceed without having conferences ready because the disk on the system being replaced had become unreliable.

Although it has been extensively tested, this upgrade is a complex one, and other problems may appear. Further testing continues. If you encounter a problem, please send all of the details to webmaster@hvcn.org.

Technical Details

Hardware Upgrades

In the past month, we have received donations of funds from members that allowed us to purchase two modern server-class machines. One is now in place as the primary HVCN server, and the other is replacing the backup server, which makes backup copies of HVCN's disk weekly, and is ready to be deployed as a replacement if some critical component of the primary server fails. This redundancy is necessary to eliminate the risk of long downtimes in the event of a catastrophic failure, and has become more important as more and more organizations in the community take advantage of HVCN's services.

Each machine is a new DELL PowerEdge(tm) 500SC server, running a 900 Mhz. Intel Celeron(tm) processor. The speed increase is probably about a factor of 50 over the old server, but most of this speed is not needed for the services we are currently providing. It does open the door to adding services in the future.

The new machines are each equipped with 128 Mb RAM and a 20 Gb EIDE hard disk that rotates at 7200 rpm. Replacing our aging disk was essential. So was getting more disk space. This accomplishes both and leaves over a great deal of room for future growth, as well as opening the possibility of adding new services that are more demanding of storage.

Software Upgrades

The operating system was upgraded from OpenBSD 2.6 (m68k) to OpenBSD 3.0 (i386).

Along with the operating system, many of the software components that run services on HVCN have been upgraded, too. None of these upgrades should change the behavior of your websites, CGI, SSI, mailing list, or other services that you currently use on HVCN. Of course, if we managed to misconfigure something, it will cause problems. We have done everything possible to avoid this, but it is probably impossible to do this kind of live upgrade without some glitch appearing. If you experience a problem using HVCN after the upgrade, please send a detailed explanation of your problem to webmaster@hvcn.org.

Software upgraded:

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This page was last modified on January 2, 2002.
Please send comments to webmaster@hvcn.org.