Okay well a simple install of a new forum search engine (it’s transparent so you won’t see a physical change.. it’s just faster) produced an error that when I looked in to it crashed the entire server.
We had a couple of issues that cropped up.; This included the fact that we’re incorrectly running a 32bit kernel so not using our full system memory, and somehow our swap partition (virtual memory) was disabled. This meant when the database/mysql crashed and I went to fix it the entire server died due to the load it created. Memory was exhausted and the server just turned itself off and sat in the corner upset with me.
Sadly trouble tickets have not yielded any attention from technical staff so I’ve done a heap of fixes myself. I’ve created a new swap file, mounted it, reconfigured the file mounting system, enabled the swap file, installed the new search engine, catalogued the entire server database and then got the lot running. I can’t easily install the 64bit kernel remotely so this remains outstanding.
We are now live again. With luck I’ve taken a heap of load off the post table with the new search upgrade. We currently host around 2.5 million posts in the forum, so mysql is suffering from this. By moving the search index off mysql and into a separate software system the search engine on the site now no longer locks out everything else while it goes away "to have a think" to find all posts that mention "gbb" for example.
The search index is updated every 15 minutes. As usual ping us any errors you come across on the support pages and I’ll look in to it.
A complete re-index of our server will complete in the early hours GMT so the forums may be slower than usual during this off-peak period.