distributed.net staff keep (relatively) up-to-date logs of their activities in .plan files. These were traditionally available via finger, but we've put them on the web for easier consumption.
If you have tried accessing www.distributed.net recently, you might have noticed that it was offline for nearly a full week. We unfortunately suffered from multiple hard disk failures just a couple of days apart on the RAID10 array of the machine that serves as our primary webserver, DNS server, and mail server. Ultimately, the disk array was unrecoverable and it will need to be recreated with new hard drives that we’ve just purchased. Fortunately, we have pretty recent backups of everything important so we’ve begun bringing the website and blogs back online using alternate hosting.
There are still a few minor things offline (bugzilla, email fetch/flush, email support, speeds database, project graphs) but we hope to have those all back online soon. We’re also taking this opportunity to improve our server infrastructure to minimize problems in the future. Of course during the website outage, the keymaster, keyserver network, and stats server continued to function and process blocks without interruption, so we expect that most of our participants were not noticeably impacted. Keep on crunching!
Although Earth Day was a couple of weeks ago, we’ve been diligently “recycling” RC5-72 blocks (ie: re-distributing previously issued but unreturned work assignments) since last November. We realize that distributing these old blocks has been inconvenient for some of our users because the fragments are much smaller, causing more network and slightly lower keyrates, and we have appreciated everyone’s patience and understanding. Fortunately, we are very close to resuming work on fresh RC5-72 subspaces and will be able to send out larger, unfragmented blocks within the next day or so!
Keep on crunching!
We have just recovered from some unplanned outage of our main webserver that hosts www.distributed.net, blogs.distributed.net, bugs.distributed.net, and some of our other web interfaces. During this time our stats server and our keyserver network remained available and uninterrupted. We’re still investigating the cause, but we hope to minimize the impact of such problems in the future.
distributed.net is one of the many websites participating in the International IPv6 day. On June 8 2011 starting at 00:00 UTC, we will have AAAA records listed in our DNS for www.distributed.net. Stats and our keyservers will not be affected during this event. For most people you should have no problems continuing to access our website. For further details, check out http://www.worldipv6day.org/
The mediawiki backend on www.distributed.net has been upgraded to the latest version. Let us know if you see any breakage.
So, stats hit a milestone of sorts. We’re got a team that has now done 2^63 keys in rc5. This has overflowed the column that it was stored in.
The temporary solution is to increase these columns to NUMERIC(25), which is 10^25. This gives us over a million times more storage until we get a more “correct” solution, which is to store stats units in the database. But that requires more work, and we’re looking to get things up as quickly as possible.
We apologize for the downtime but we didn’t realize how good you guys are!
We just put our new website infrastructure online a few minutes ago, so you should be able to see it at http://www.distributed.net/ (or possibly once your DNS cache refreshes).
Just like our new blogging system announced last month, the goal of this upgrade was to clean up some of our back-end infrastructure and simplify content updating for us. We’re also preparing to decommission the old server hardware used by our old website, so this was a good opportunity to do it.
This has been a pretty complex migration due to the mix of technologies, pages variations, and supported language translations but almost all of our old URLs should continue to load without disruption. We’re now running MediaWiki with a custom skin and a custom language extension so that we can provide the same experience as the old website. In fact, unless you look carefully you may not even notice any differences!
There will be some more website updates over the next few weeks, so look forward for more announcements soon.
This posting is mostly just a test, but it does have some mild informational value…
We’ve just finished replacing our old home-grown “.plan” file system with a more modern blogging system running on new server hardware. Technically, we stopped serving “finger” requests several years ago, so this isn’t that big of a change. All of the previous posts from our old “.plan” system have been imported and all old URLs should be automatically redirected to their new locations here at http://blogs.distributed.net/
If you subscribe to our RSS feed, then your reader might have re-displayed some older posts when it followed the redirect to its new location. Prior RSS posts are being published with the same “PermaLink guid” so you might not see that issue at all, depending on your reader.
Users that are subscribed to our “plans” mailing list will continue to be able to read new staff blog posts, despite the obsolete name of the list. However, the readability of some new posts there may be impacted by the conversion of HTML to plaintext for that mailing list.
IRC users in our #distributed channel on irc.cuckoo.com should now also be receiving notification of new blog entries instead of plan posts.
Although this blogging system does support user comments, we’ re not going to enable them here quite yet since we are working on some other exciting improvements that would complicate things later.
Hopefully this revamped backend should make it easier for us to make more regular posts to our users. Keep crunchin’!
:: 01-Jan-2010 21:43 GMT (Friday) ::
On behalf of everyone at distributed.net, welcome to 2010.
Happy Moo Year
:: 30-Nov-2009 07:34 GMT (Monday) ::
Happy Cyber Monday! If you’re planning on doing a little holiday
shopping, why not consider helping distributed.net by signing up at
iGive? Once you sign up through the following link, supported online
retailers will donate a small percentage of your purchase price to us
and help fund our general operational expenses: