Why MozillaZine Went Down

Friday January 16th, 2004

Regular visitors will have noticed that MozillaZine vanished from the Internet for almost 24 hours beginning at approximately 1:45am UTC on Friday (late Thursday USA time). The outage started when the server failed to come back up after a planned reboot following a software update. Further investigation by the support personnel of our host (formerly Rackshack) revealed that the machine had experienced a kernel panic. The support engineers then installed a new hard drive formatted with's standard Linux setup (though ironically this ran into problems due to a failed IDE cable). We could then access the machine and rebuild our pre-update configuration. We successfully transferred all the important data from the old disk — including articles, forum messages, weblog posts and emails — and the site is now running as normal. We've taken the opportunity to switch the server to Pacific Time (GMT -0800), providing better consistency with Mozilla Foundation tools such as Bugzilla and Bonsai (previously the site used Central Time (GMT -0600) and before that Eastern Time (GMT -0500)). However, it took us a couple of attempts to get it right, so there may be some time-related errors present (such as a few inaccurate forum post timestamps).

The disruption affected all services including email. If you sent any email to addresses during the time the server was down, please resend, as it most likely did not get through. We at MozillaZine would like to apologise to all our visitors for any inconvenience caused by the downtime and wish to extend our gratitude to everyone who helped to get the site up and running again, especially James "Imajes" Cox.

Update: We think everything's working now but please read our latest outage update for more information.

#14 Reply

by Racer

Saturday January 17th, 2004 10:44 AM

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Not to make any assumptions, but how do you know they aren't running RAID 1 ATA drives? SCSI on small servers is overrated as parallel ATA drives have nearly caught up in features to their SCSI counterparts. Also, parallel ATA drives use IDE connectors, so assuming they have parallel ATA drives, then the statement is true enough.