Server replacement

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2020-06-17 23:50:44 EET, changed at 2020-06-18 00:10:42 EET

New server picture

Today, between 18:40 and 20:00 EEST the server was not accessible, because I was finally able to move the system to the new machine (Dell PowerEdge R340). The operation took so long, because I wanted to copy the bootable SSD disk to the new drive that came with the server, but I was not able to install it - a special bracket is required to fit 2.5'' SSDs into Dell's 14th generation 3.5'' carriers.

After I moved all the drives I got myself into cabling, which took me some more time although my new rack is well organized. I first chose patch cables with the wrong length and then I had to reorganize some existing cables, so I could fit around the new ones.

The first boot was smooth as expected with the default kernel, but I forgot to comment out the persistent interface rules of udev for the network adapters of the previous machine, so the server was without network. After fixing it I decided to reboot once again to test that everything would get up properly.

I had to tune several other things after the server was up, but nothing that would disrupt its normal work. The server is now ready to serve its purpose.


Downtime for equipment movement

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2020-05-30 20:52:46 EET, changed at 2020-05-30 20:55:54 EET

New rack picture

Today between 10:40 EEST and 11:40 EEST the server was unavailable as I was moving my equipment to a new server rack. I could have done this faster and in future I plan less downtime, but the important thing is that now all my equipment except the server itself is into the rack. I'm now waiting for the new server to arrive in about 10 days, so I could move the current tower server into the rack.

Earlier this year I noticed that the server is shutting down even though the UPS still has power to support it. So, three weeks ago I changed the batteries, but as everything is connected to it, currently the expected runtime is about 40 minutes at best. However, I had some troubles with the power recently and in one of the cases there was no line power for about 2 hours (due to accident). I'm now considering increasing the runtime of my systems on batters or in other words buying a new and more powerful UPS. I'll need more than one to sustain my two servers and network devices for at least 2 hours that is the power interruption I could expect from time to time.

Cheers until I have better news!

Memory upgrade

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2020-04-16 20:29:55 EET, changed at 2020-04-16 20:49:59 EET

An hour ago I upgraded the memory of the server to 16 GB. And the server was not accessible for half an hour between 19:30 and 20:00 EEST, because I accidentally loose the SATA connector of one of the hard drives :-(

After I added a new 8 GB DDR3 module the server started normally. I thought everything is OK and left it, but then I tried to connect and wasn't able. So, I went back to check the server and on the console there were many EXT4 error messages. I had to stop the machine again, check the devices in BIOS. Since one of the hard drives was missing I immediately checked the connectors and solved the problem.

I should have done this upgrade long ago, but until recently I though the memory is enough for all the services running. Anyway, the server has enough memory now.

Inaccessibility due to router replacement

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2017-12-17 22:10:15 EET

Today between 12:30 EET and 14:30 EET the server was not accessible due to router replacement and change of IP addresses. Although, the replacement was planned and prepared previously, some unforeseen circumstances occurred with the configuration of the device itself as well as with the server.

The expected change with the replacement is better network performance for the increasing outer and inner traffic.

Downtime for disk replace

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2017-12-09 06:01:15 EET

Last night while all students were celebrating, I spent replacing a failing Samsung 830 SSD on the server. The disk was so rotten that it's copy with dd took about 5 hours, which is why the server was offline somewhere between 2017-12-08 22:00 EET and 2017-12-09 05:00 EET. The disk started failing in beginning of September, but recently the number of reallocated sectors become extremely high and I started detecting bad sectors on some system files. The read performance had also dropped and during the copy it fell to 5 MB/s (!), which explains the fore mentioned slow copy of just 64 GB between the old and new SSD. The disk failed only after about 24 000 power on hours (i.e. about 2 years and 9 months), which is rather strange, but maybe this is the normal life span of consumer SSDs?

Anyway, the drive is now replaced with a brand new ADATA SU800 128 GB, which unfortunately is not yet in smartctl database (see ticket 954). The server is back online and fully operational.

Upgrade to Slackware 14.2

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2016-08-30 12:34:17 EET, changed at 2017-01-06 13:56:35 EET

Last Sunday (28/08) the server was upgraded to Slackware 14.2, which itself passed flawlessly, but then there was a need for re-install of all the additionally used Perl modules and upgrade of some packages (e.g. OpenLDAP, RRDTool and FreeRadius), which I haven't upgraded/rebuilt yet.

Yesterday, evening the datbase server was also upgraded to MySQL 5.7.13, so it now remains only to upgrade the kernel to a LTS version from 4.4 series.

ISP Change

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2015-07-20 19:43:15 EET, changed at 2017-01-06 09:17:38 EET

Last week the server was not accessible from 2015-07-14 21:20 EEST to 2015-07-16 16:35 EEST, because my ISP MTel (that bought Megalan few years ago) was having problems with managing MAC addresses and Layer 2 connectivity (i.e. as far as I understood it was due to some "provisioning"). No matter the case, I found it totally unacceptable to be without Internet for almost 48 hours given there was no physical disruption of the connection. Mtel's support was not able to do anything to help me restore the connection (I was required to pass the so called "Captive Portal" even though it was clear that I'm not able to do so because of the issues on Mtel's side).

So I changed the ISP last Friday (17.07) and I'm now with Vivacom hopefully for the better. Of course the new ISP come with the new static IP address (, so the server was not accessible also over the weekend until the DNSes were synchronized.

Upgrade to Slackware 14.0

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2013-02-05 12:15:15 EET, changed at 2019-08-26 13:43:55 EET

In the evening of February 3-d and the morning of February 4-th the operating system of the server was finally upgraded to Slackware 14.0 - an upgrade planned for the past several months, but delayed due to lack of time.

The major problems were again with Perl. All of the used modules by the different web application had to be reinstalled for the new version. Otherwise, the upgrade went smoothly, but it took some time for the whole process to complete and all the services to be reconfigured and become operational again.

Downtimes: Repairs at home

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2012-06-17 09:00:00 EET, changed at 2012-06-17 09:13:31 EET

Due to repairs at home (where it is still located), the server may be going down for large periods of time varying from several hours to more than 1 day. It was already down once from 2012-06-15 11:54 EEST to 2012-06-15 12:54 EEST and from 2012-06-15 18:50 EEST to 2012-06-16 21:45 EEST yesterday, but other downtimes are possible today and tomorrow.

Upgrade of the server

Published by Georgi Sotirov at 2011-05-30 12:42:15 EET, changed at 2017-12-19 11:45:56 EET

Last evening the server was upgraded to Slackware 13.37, this way updating many of the existing packages. The only problem that was encountered was with Perl 5.12 on which both Bugzilla and SlackPack depend. This forced the downgrade to Perl 5.10 and use of the existing base of installed packages until solutions to the problems are found.

The kernel was also upgraded to 2.6.39 without any problem.

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