It’s actually been quite a process that has taken a few months. Originally, msmvps.com was on a shared server at a web host – which quite honestly served us well for the first couple years. However, everyone might have noticed that a few months ago we starting having problems with the blogs going down. We determined there were multiple factors at play – first, both the web application and the MS SQL back end were on shared servers – and as you can imagine, msmvps.com gets a decent amount of traffic on a daily basis. Second, it seemed that as our traffic was continually increasing, .Text just was having a hard time keeping up.
SO – Susan talked to Vlad at OwnWebNow about hosting msmvps.com, and we stood up a dedicated server just for us. Shortly thereafter, Nick and I moved the .Text blogs from the previous web host over to the brand-spanking-new dedicated server. This was an event in itself, because it wasn’t quite a planned migration. Not that we hadn’t planned on doing it anyway – but we hit an afternoon a little over a month ago where the blogs were down, and weren’t coming back up – so we decided to pull the trigger and move NOW So within a few hours, the blogs were up and running again, this time on a new server on the opposite coast . . . they were just still running .Text
That brings us to this weekend. While the blogs were much more stable and responsive on the new server, .Text still wasn’t quite keeping up – to the point where if you could have looked behind the scenes, you would have seen that we had a decent amount of duct tape and bailing wire holding everything together We had installed Community Server 1.1 and did a test migration, and things went rather well. We were holding out for Community Server 2.0 since we originally heard it was supposed to RTM in December. Well, this last week we found out that the CS 2.0 release was pushed back a couple months, and decided that we just couldn’t wait that long. SO – Saturday was the big day. I took the blogs offline at 2:30pm CST (8:30pm GMT) and started the migration process. The blogs were offline for approximately 5 hours as we migrated from .Text to Community Server 1.1, and made necssary configuration changes and redirects. The redirects were the key – because with Community Server our URLs changed. With .Text, my blog was at msmvps.com/cgross but with Community Server, it is at msmvps.com/blogs/cgross. Naturally, with over 220 blogs on the site, we didn’t want to break all of countless links that exist on other web sites, google groups, etc. pointing back to our blogs – so we configured the redirects so that everyone can still use the old URLs and still get to the content in the new location.
SO – the blogs came back online, and we’ve spent the last few hours tweaking and tuning the Community Server application to make sure it’s behaving the way we want it to. So far, so good. But I’m sure we’ll definitely be fine-tuning things over the next few weeks.
Now, let’s see how we stacked up:
Something Old . . . Check We’ve actually got several items in this category – an old web host, two old shared servers, and an old blog engine.
Something New . . . Check. We’ve got a new dedicated server at a new web host now running a new blog engine.
Something Borrowed . . . Check. Time . . . the .Text blogs were running on borrowed time. For the record, so I am at the moment. I’m heading to bed for some much needed sleep as soon as I get this posted.
Something Blue . . . Check. My blog skin. It’s not the same one I had on .Text. Now, I really liked my old skin (Cognition) – but alas, it’s not currently available for Community Server, so I had to go with something different.
Anyway – the big steps are done, and here’s hoping that from here on out msmvps.com is happy, healthy, stable and meets all of your MVP blogging needs!