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Old 2005-07-08, 02:12   #1
ndpowell
 
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Jun 2005
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Arrow Get-er-done!

OK folks, it's time to quit goofing. Some way, somehow, let's get this server problem fixed. This situation endangers the entire GIMPS project. The server is the "hub." Without it, the work everyone is doing may very well be worthless. As an I/T administrator, I know just a little about servers. Now just exactly how long do any of you think any corporate facility would abide with something like this? They would be down on their I/T's in an instant. Just because this server is not dealing with dollars and cents, does not mean that it can be put on the back burner. I am not accusing anyone of doing this, but, from a distance, it could be seen that way. So, let's "get-er-done."
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Old 2005-07-08, 07:42   #2
garo
 
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Well you have a point about getting the server done but you are wrong about the work being done being worthless. The master database is kept by George on a different machine than the server and he uses the communications logs of the server to build it. So even when the server screws up with ERROR 3 etc. he still gets all of our results. At the same time, a new server would indeed be very welcome.
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Old 2005-07-08, 17:41   #3
ndpowell
 
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Smile I stand corrected

Quote:
Originally Posted by garo
Well you have a point about getting the server done but you are wrong about the work being done being worthless. The master database is kept by George on a different machine than the server and he uses the communications logs of the server to build it. So even when the server screws up with ERROR 3 etc. he still gets all of our results. At the same time, a new server would indeed be very welcome.
Please accept my apology. If George is keeping a seperate database, on a seperate machine, then that makes it a different story. I would guess this keep him quite busy. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 2005-07-10, 01:38   #4
moo
 
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I thought there was 2 databases and he synced them every once in a while also the biggest problem is that we have this little pce of software missing called version 5 which when and if it ever comes out it would make server a lot more stable.
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Old 2005-07-11, 11:02   #5
Peter Nelson
 
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Ndpowell you are not entirely wrong. You need only have offered HALF your apology.

Although GIMPS work via primenet is not time-critical; that is: as long as a result can be accepted when the server come back online then no work is lost, and the delay has not been any disadvantage to the project as a whole.

In my opinion the main problem that occurs is the link to the back end database fails, which means the web server process is still up and serving but cannot access the database.

Implications:

there are sometimes extended periods when participants cannot access their individual account report (which may disincentivise participation).

this may (and has) created a problem for some NEW participants who want to join in while the "server" is having problems. eg cannot obtain assignment, login for their stats etc. These newbies tend to post asking "what am I doing wrong" when it is not THEIR fault at all. Others might simply not bother and leave the project.

Thirdly, don't assume that work IS processed correctly.
eg on several occasions when my machine has tried to submit results things have not gone smoothly even when the server comes back to normal.
eg. exponents remaining in my account report even though they finished.
eg. not getting primenet credit assigned to me for having done particular work.
The only way to resolve this is to email George who then will be helpful have put things right. HE SHOULD NOT NEED TO DO THIS manual fixing if the server was reliable.

You are not the only IT admin here, and there are others of us who would not accept the current situation as acceptable in a commercial application, nor should we in a math project.

There are other things need changing on the server side software too eg. reporting properly what client version was used on a client machine. eg being able to deal with new processor types.

Current situation: It works, most of the time, but only just, and from the outside it gives the impression the insides are held together with bits of sticky tape and elastic bands. LOL.

I have already suggested at the very least that:

a)if the server side cannot be easily changed quickly, that the client be augmented so it tests whether the server is up when submitting work, and reports intelligent messages to the user. ie the client be designed to accomodate downtime rather than assume it always up.

b)a (simple) monitoring system should be put in place. When the server goes "down" it might restart the backend database process.
At a minimum it should email or page George etc that there is a problem requiring their urgent intervention.

If the webserver part could be modified to error-handle properly, it might at least give a message understandable to a novice rather than the "cryptic" SQL error message.

I think it can only benefit the project if the system reliability can be improved.
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Old 2005-07-11, 21:10   #6
Peter Nelson
 
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Oct 2004

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Prime95 Client Version 24.13 (recently became the release version) has some new features (according to the what's new) to cope better with the server problems (as discussed above).

Well done and thanks George!
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Old 2005-07-12, 15:52   #7
PrimeCruncher
 
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I don't remeber if this was posted in the sticky thread up at the top. If it is, I'll post this again. The v5 SERVER is done, according to Scott. It's the client-end that isn't finished. Do we have any C experts here that might be able to remedy that situation?
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