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What happened to the server

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What happened to the server

Postby GDEXXY » May 26, 2008 (2:38 pm)

I'm going to post this message in two sections. The first is for those of you of you who want the bottom line without all the details. The second has all the gory details for those interested.

The Summarized Version
The new hardware we'd been using since early March has problems with the way it was storing data. We would only know about this when the server was restarted, which is very infrequently. We've tracked down the problem and completely rebuilt the system in a way that should avoid issues like this in the future.

The Detailed Version
The integrated RAID controller on the new server's motherboard is faulty, not storing parity data correctly when writing to the disks. As a result, all sorts of files, including Eaxia database files, would corrupt over time. Files were restored from backups and/or repaired as necessary, but continued to happen until it was traced back to this.

We rebuilt the server immediately upon discovering this (Friday morning, May 22, 2008) and are no longer using integrated RAID. Instead we added another hard drive (IDE), which Windows is on and are using a four-drive dynamic volume array in Windows to implement software RAID 5. There's a little more overhead in doing this (uses the CPU to calculate the parity when doing writes), but it still gives us a significant performance advantage over independent drives, even if we were to load balance them.

We actually had the system up and ready to go by about noon EST on Saturday, but there was an obscure issue with TCP/IP that was only presenting itself in a handful of applications, while others were connecting and serving ports just fine. We corrected that and launched the games early Sunday morning.


Rich Mondy has reimbursed Haelrahv accounts with a week of game credit. Since Haelrahv is hosted on other equipment, the impact of these issues was limited mostly to the instability of the network and players there have experienced no issues with data corruption related to the new server's hardware.

Eaxia players will receive a similar reimbursement according to the severity of affected.
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