I realize how really annoying the forum has been ever since we installed IPB 3.0.4 on October 7. But now it's all good.
I have new powers. Dixiesys has given me the ability to do a cold server reboot, i.e. to turn it off and on remotely. So if we ever do crash we'll be back in about 3 minutes, assuming I'm awake. And I now have super user access to the database. I have learned really a lot about linux and mySQL and the available tools, and still learning.
IPB 3.0.4 has a different format for posts and a script for rebuilding the old ones.
We have over 637,000 posts and the script brought the server to its knees every time it had done 70,000 or so.
I had IPB support take a look at it.
I had never realized before how critically short of memory we were. A lot of the time the free memory was as low as 7 MB. When it got down to below 7 MB the forum used to become extremely slow or altogether paralyzed. We have rebuilt the posts from 2008-2009 but had to stop running the tool until we got more RAM. I can now start it again and rebuilding all the posts should take less than a day.
With our new 4G chip we now have more memory in use than we used to have total.
[box]Mem: 4051628k total, 1771908k used, 2279720k free, 70172k buffers[/box]Amazing! 1.77 G in use, and we used to have only 1 G altogether. How did we ever run at all? The swap file was seeing a great deal of use, obviously. Linux did the best it could but was often overwhelmed.
Another snapshot, swap file isn't being used at all:[box]Mem: 4051628k total, 3233420k used, 818208k free, 76856k buffers
Swap: 2031608k total, 0k used, 2031608k free, 2807556k cached[/box]
We are so fast now! and I certainly expect we'll be so much more reliable. We like IPB 3.0.4 a lot; it is definitely a step up.
I also hadn't realized that Dixiesys was no longer backing up the server. They changed to a service with an additional monthly fee and somehow I never heard about it. We can't afford an additional fee, and anyway I feel better managing the backups myself. We'll be backing up the database and public_html every day, or more often when there have been significant changes like thousands of rebuilt posts. Backups will be stored on the server and copied to my PC. Database backups will be done at 11:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time (GMT - 7) and will make your browser wait for approximately three minutes.
The upside to all that recent down-up-down-up-down
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