[Scheduled Maintenance] Rehubbing

Over the course of the next few days, we’ll be rehubbing most of the network, in an effort to improve reliability and possibly save some bandwidth costs. We’re not sure how quickly we’ll go through the network; if you’d like to keep track of the proceedings, you may want to turn on WALLOPS (“/mode yournick +w” or “/umode +w” on most clients). We’ll try to mention it occasionally on global notice, since most users will be affected by the main rotation part of the rehubbing. Apologies for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience.

A big welcome and a sigh of relief go out to our new main rotation server hosts. Thanks to Oregon State University and to Patrick Scheeler and Glenn Shannon at the San Diego Supercomputing Center for helping us in our current crunch. Also, welcome to BS2 Internet‘s new server in Curitiba, ParanĂ¡, Brasil!

Server Hosting

Good morning to everyone. Once again, we need to talk to you very seriously about the issue of server hosting. The network ran very well yesterday, and it’s been running pretty well so far today. But we have a problem.

freenode has grown over time, and we continue to offer an effective and useful interactive service. The linchpin of our service is the main rotation; servers on it can predictably handle relatively heavy load from all over the world. But we can no longer support the network on the number of main rotation servers we have. Matters are coming to a head. Earlier one of our main rotation servers split and rejoined the network, dropping a number of users. That server is back, and we hope it will continue to be reliable, but we have no way to predict its behavior. As a result of that split, another host’s server picked up quite a few users, and he has just asked us to temporarily remove his server from the main rotation due to the volume of traffic.

This leaves us with three main rotation servers.

Another host has notified us that his provider will be doing router work this weekend, which will occasion downtime. In order to prepare for that downtime, we’ll need to remove his server from the main rotation. That will leave us with two main rotation servers. At peak load, those two servers will have to handle 5,000 users each. We simply do not have any servers which can handle 5,000 users for any length of time.

PDPC wants to continue to offer freenode. But we need your help.

If there’s any chance at all you can host a server, please look at our server hosting page. We can’t keep going from crisis to crisis. We can’t predict whether a given server will work well in the main rotation. But unless we try a fairly large number of new servers, beginning immediately, we are simply going to have to discontinue the service. The more main rotation servers we have, the smaller the load on each server. So, if you think you can help, please take a look at the web page email us as quickly as possible, at this email address: staff at freenode dot net.

We can’t do this without you.