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VC Upgrade 1.12.2 (Details)
Topic Rating: +4 (4 votes) 
November 10, 2017
10:24 pm
frelling
Senior Tech
Forum Posts: 3253
Member Since:
August 18, 2011
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This thread was created for several reasons: (1) most important, to keep our members -- past and present -- informed about all the nitty-gritty details of what is going; (2) more details on the whys and how; and, (3) to keep everything together under a single topic.

Both Mudwog and I have had several long teleconferences reviewing the status and progress of various projects, most of which are intertwined with each other and are in the process of performing a triage of what absolutely must be done and what could wait till after an upgrade. I would like to thank Tedisvet for giving us a much needed kick where it was needed. His points are well made and correct. We would be lying to ourselves and be even greater fools to consider disagreeing. Constructive criticism is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is something that both of us are used to giving and receiving. We truly appreciate the time Tedisvet invested in composing a well thought out and to the point post. It is refreshing not having to parse through flames for points and concerns.

This thread is read-only for members. This is not because we do not want to hear from you, but that we want to make sure that the any information we post is easily purused and uncluttered. A separate thread VC Upgrade 1.12.1 (Discussion) is provided for any additional questions or comments; though for the moment we ask that members wait till we have posted all that needs to be posted in this thread. Frankly, this should be presented in a different format, but in the interest of giving our members some much needed information, we will post it in piecemeal rather than waiting to compose a post to end all other posts, which would require far more time. I will leave it at that for now. More to come.

Sincerely,

Frelling & Mudwog

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
November 10, 2017
11:18 pm
frelling
Senior Tech
Forum Posts: 3253
Member Since:
August 18, 2011
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Lack of Information

In regards to the lack of information regarding updates, there are no excuses. I have regularly hemmed and hawed to post much needed information. Deep down, I was afraid that while everything looked ready to go or at least test, that something else would come along or be discovered that would affect the time line. At the time of each past comment and post, I truly believed what was stated. But, so far, my track record in following through has been atrocious. Believe me, not posting information bothers me more than most.

As many of you know, I tend to be blunt and straightforward about things; sometimes too much, causing ruffled feathers from time to time. One would think that this nature of mine alone should have had me posting information, yet internally I find myself holding back to say what needs to be said. It might not be fear, but it certainly is a good case of being gun shy. Even now, as I am writing this, it takes all my willpower to quell the resistance to speak of details.

Part of this comes from having a high level of empathy. I spend a lot of time in my career walking in other people's shoes to understanding their points of views and what issues cause them stress; regardless of whether I consider them germane. It helps me and those I work for to find solutions that are acceptable to most. Unfortunately, my empathy and bluntness are in a constant state of struggle.

On the one hand, I want to post information – good or bad – to keep members informed. On the other hand I resist, because I do not want to cause undo concerns to others; following a close second is my fear that if I do state something positive that, as mentioned before, sometime will come along to screw with it; as has happened several times. What is ironic, is that I have coached dozens of individuals to help overcome that exact problem, yet I find myself unable to listen to my own advice; truly a case of the cobbler's children not having shoes.

For that, I can only ask for your forgiveness. If not that, at least members can be rest assured that this eats at me regularly and is not due to me having abandoned VeteranCraft. Apart from a few weeks here and there, I have been working on VeteranCraft directly and indirectly. I have well over 100 pages of logs in my VeteranCraft workbook alone covering dozens of topics, tests, features, an so on. I will hit upon those later. But first, I need to get everyone on the same page and explain what VeteranCraft is now and what I want it will become.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
November 11, 2017
11:32 pm
frelling
Senior Tech
Forum Posts: 3253
Member Since:
August 18, 2011
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+1

Before moving forward, I must make an important clarification. The activities being performed by VeteranCraft on its systems is not an update. It is a from-the-grounds-up, technical and administrative redesign of how VeteranCraft provisions and manages servers and other services. It is a product and support structure development. There is more to that; for now just keep that in the back of your mind.

Do not worry, Arda is not going anyway, it will still be there as the main world. We are not futzing with it, except for plugin work needed to provide the same and better features as you have come to know and like.

I understand that it would have been great if we had discussed this or alerted our members rather than remaining silent. We did not; but we are now. There is no sense in lamenting over what we should have done. Members are more than welcome to beat me up in a PM (if you value your livelihood, do not PM Mudwog); let us leave it out of the these posts.

In the event that anything I post hereon forward conflicts with prior posts, comments, articles, rules, verbal statements, understandings, conventions, in-game discussions, signal flags, drum beats, and other past communications, this shall be the definitive declaration.

VeteranCraft Mission Statement

Fostering Minecraft communities and empowering creative expression.

 

VeteranCraft Moving Forward

Minecraft is and continues to be the best game for all ages to come together – friends, families, co-workers, and even complete strangers through a chance encounter in the middle of the night running through a swamp each evading critters that wish them ill.

VeteranCraft is more than being just another Minecraft server. It is about building communities and empower groups and individuals to express their creativity and have the flexibility to do so without being burdened by rules -- other than those that ensure members treat each other fairly. VeteranCraft prides itself on the longevity of their main world, past and present, allowing those with the willpower and drive to undertake month-, year-, or multi-year-long projects.

Those attributes alone have made VeteranCraft a popular place for many to visit and several to stake their claim during the first 5-years of VeteranCraft existence. But that was also the extent of it – no more, no less. VeteranCraft needed to evolve under the hood, so to speak. Not only for the sanity of its BDFL, but also be able to leverage other technologies and services that integrate well and open a horizon of possibilities, yet to be imagined.

It is not that it is hard to spin up a Spigot, Sponge, or Forge-based server. Anyone can download the software, throw a few plugins together, and spin it up to be enjoyed among friends. While easy to start, it is something else to keep it going. Maintaining a server, its operations, its community, performance, and everything else that intertwines with it becomes a burdensome task even when maintained by a collective of people. It is also the primary reason why many Minecraft servers come and go; ignoring rage-quit-and-delete-server of a disillusioned owners.

As great as Minecraft or its derivatives are, they are not built as manageable services. This becomes even more evident when using technologies like SpigotMC's BungeeCord that effectively combines servers – from the player's perspective – as if they were just different worlds on the same server. Yet, each server has its own configurations, its own set of plugins, its own permissions, its own… In short, despite being automagically combined they are still independently configured and managed even with the latest and greatest Minecraft control panel. Certainly, there have been plugins and other tools to ease the burden and provide limited centralized configuration and control. Yet, depsite their author's best intentions most are akin to band-aids on a gash.

[There is more, but I just got pulled away onto something else... bbl ]

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
November 12, 2017
1:59 pm
frelling
Senior Tech
Forum Posts: 3253
Member Since:
August 18, 2011
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Although there is lot more to be said, I have to put this thread, diatribe, manifesto – call it whatever you will – on hold for the next 24 hrs. I was pulled away last night by urgent texts from Mudwog. As mentioned previously, both of us have reviewed tasks at hand to identify those that must be completed and those that could wait after the release.

One essential task, which I had hoped to explain at a later point, is to replace our existing servers with newer hardware. While there is nothing physically wrong with our servers, they are based on 2015 technology, which in terms of production servers running 24x7 is fairly old. We had decided to move forward with migration before the conclusion of our next billing cycle next Friday; at least that was the plan.

While our data center gets top marks from us for equipment and network quality, promptness and accuracy in resolving technical and service issues, the same cannot be said for their billing system, despite best efforts by their billing department. Past experience has shown us that it is better to make equipment changes toward the end of a billing cycle and let older services expire, than having to suffer a flurry of emails and phones mid-cycle to get credits transferred. This is not due to an unwillingness by our data center, but due to functional limitations of their billing system; often requiring a deity to descend from the heavens to make such corner cases right.

Case in point, while our billing cycle should have ended next Friday, it is ending today! Somewhere within the past 3-4 months, an update to their billing system lost our accrued time credits. I can get them back, but the time and effort to do so now would be a waste. It is better to save that for a later date.

In short, both of us once more poured over various server options and offerings into the wee hours of today to determine the best configurations for VeteranCraft's new infrastructure. We already know what we wanted, but service offerings are in a constant flux and due diligence must be applied. Case in point, we can create a configuration for an “Enterprise” and an “Infrastructure” system with identically hardware, guarantees, service-level agreements, and features, yet one is $12 cheaper. Go figure!

Thus, the crux of this situation is that I just placed an order for two new servers – actually we could use three, but that can be put off for now – and that Mudwog and I have less than 10 hours to migrate and convert everything from our old servers to the new ones. The good news is, that halfway through writing this post, I received notification that the new servers have been deployed and are ready for configuration.

Please understand that this is a migration of existing Minecraft servers and support services into our new infrastructure. This is not an update of our Minecraft servers themselves.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
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