Fans fret as Fur Affinity nears fifth day of read-only mode
The problem is, this was unplanned downtime. […] If it was planned […] people would have had time to get things together. Such as commissioners, contests, bids, etc. and where to get in contact or if the bids/auctions are postponed while the site is down.
[…] at first I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make any money for christmas, but now I'm starting to worry that FA will be down so long that I won't be able to make enough for rent. […] it's so very disheartening when it was supposed to be a nice holiday season...
Operations team lead yak began an attempt to clear backlogged database transactions on Monday afternoon "as fast as the RAID10 array of 15k drives allow". A day later, FA status forum poster Raptros reported that the database would be transferred to a different server.
Update (15 Dec): An announcement posted on Sunday morning:
The last of the data is importing, and we'll be standing by to finish the upgrades. ETA should be tonight.
[The current method of notification handling] is not scalable and quickly becomes unsustainable for sites with 10^5 and 10^6 users.
Staff have rewritten queries, tweaked database settings, and intend to prune notifications older than 90 days soon after the site returns.
Update 3 (17 Dec): Fur Affinity came online for a few minutes before stalling and returning to read-only mode, "unable to handle a flood of users while rebuilding the RAID arrays". The site returned eight hours later, with mass notification clearing options disabled.
Users flooded social networks to complain about the disruption and compare alternate sites; primarily Inkbunny, SoFurry and Weasyl. On FA's forums, a 20-page thread was locked after discussion degenerated; it was soon replaced, while fans clamoured for software upgrades.
Weasyl traffic jumped on Wednesday, while e621, SoFurry and Inkbunny, being more active, saw relatively moderate increases.
Conflict of interest notice: This story's author is also Inkbunny's lead administrator.
Other sites appear to have benefited from the interruption, with Weasyl exhibiting a traffic spike, while Inkbunny's upload volume has ranged from 150-200% of normal during FA's read-only period. Meanwhile, guests continue to visit FA, but registered user traffic has fallen in half. [habnab.it]
Site owner Dragoneer fought back against allegations of poor use of donated funds:
I keep seeing that we get tons of donation funding, but that's not true. A few years ago? Yes. But we're not receiving donations. Maybe one or two a month, and it's not much at all. […] I need to update the page again, but most months we don't get anything, yet it doesn't stop our costs from being near $1,800 a month.
@weasyl http://projects.weasyl.com/fenderbender/ Really appreciate you trying to kick us while we're down with this insultingly named script. Classy.
The most recent statement, as posted on Fur Affinity early Saturday morning, is more positive:
Data migration is nearly complete. We will be attempting to resolve thins tomorrow (Saturday). Our replacement hard drives arrived as well, and we will get the drives updated and installed before bringing the site online. Updates will be posted to the Forums and via Twitter once we have a more accurate time frame on getting things back up and running. We would like to apologize for how long this has taken. This was an unfortunate issue that we had hoped to avoid.
The drive failures were previously reported to be "not related to the slowdowns or issues"; they were just "incredibly bad timing".