SL - Data Loss in March 2013

    Keywords: SL description

What happened?

On March 29th 2013 SL (and other sites such as the GTL) were moved to a new server. The move was planned to last from March 29th to April 1st. The old server would then be decommissioned.

In the middle of migration disaster struck: for reasons beyond my (Arno's) control our contract with the old server was terminated by the hosting company on March 29th 24:00 CET, and not several days later, as planned.

As it turned out, the hosting company was within its contractual rights to terminate the server on that day. However, no advance warning was given. And fatally for SL: the hosting company has an automated process whereas they wipe the server discs and the FTP backup within some minutes/hours of the end of the contract due to "privacy policies". No grace period, no warning, no way to get the information back. Data loss.

The data was backed up daily to an FTP backup area (same hosting company, same contract), in case of a server failure. However, SL (i.e. Arno) was unprepared for an organizational failure due to miscommunication between the hosting company, Arno and the admin of co-located sites on the same server.

The result: data loss.

Arno: I know that I'm the one to blame. While it would be easy for me to point fingers, I was not prepared and not diligent enough to prevent this from happening. I'm terribly sorry for the mess and for your lost data.

Data loss

Due to the incomplete migration, following data has been lost:

  • wiki pages: any edits between March 2nd and March 29th (1 month)
  • user profiles, recentchanges entries, discussions (talk pages): any posts, activities or changes between August 30th 2012 and March 29th (7 months)
  • archive of wiki pages: all archived version between November 1st 2009 and March 29th (40 months)
  • SL ads: all information about community ads has been lost

How this affects you

  • You may have lost wiki pages, posts, edits or changes
  • If you signed up after August 30th 2012 your account no longer exists. Please sign up again.
  • If you have changed your password after August 30th 2012, you have your old password again.
  • If you ran ads with us, they are no longer shown.

How will data loss be prevented in the future?

The daily backup is now made to two independent locations: to the designated backup area that goes with the server and to a space at another hosting company. The daily backup now includes all information (not only the wiki pages) except for the archive. The archive is backed up (a) daily to the designated backup area and (b) monthly to the other hosting company. In addition, in irregular intervals Arno (and others) make local copies of everything.

This setup should ensure that in almost all possible circumstances the data loss should be limited to one day, should anything happen again.

SL - Data Loss in March 2013 last edited by ArnoHollosi on April 1, 2013 - 16:38
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