This message has been sent to notify you of a scheduled maintenance that will occur on :
Approximately 08:00 to 20:00 CST, on May 28th 2019
This maintenance will affect all services in our Chicago location. Only services in our Chicago location will be impacted by this maintenance. The maintenance will cause all services to be powered off for the duration of the maintenance.
Detailed explanation :
We were notified, on January 31st, that our upstream provider in Chicago, FDC Servers, will not renew their lease in 141 W Jackson Blvd (the Chicago Board of Trade building), effective on May 31st. FDC Servers operate from 2 datacenter facilities, in Chicago. In late May, FDC Servers intend to relocate their customers in the Chicago Board of Trade building to their second Chicago facility. Few of their customers, including Heymman Servers, cannot be relocated. In fact, due to our very high power density rack configurations and rather large footprint, FDC Servers cannot accommodate our business in their second Chicago facility.
This forces us to physically relocate all servers in our Chicago location to another datacenter.
During the past 3 months, we worked very hard to find the best possible datacenter to migrate our Chicago services to. We evaluated datacenters based on the quality of their infrastructure and network, proximity to 141 W Jackson Blvd and pricing. In the end, we decided that the best long-term decision was to relocate all Chicago services to one of our current providers, UnReal Servers. The new datacenter address is :
1321 Burlington St
North Kansas City, MO 64116
UnReal Servers is an organization that is the product of several mergers and acquisitions of web hosting providers in the Kansas City area, starting by their acquisition of all colocation customers of Wholesale Internet, an internet service provider operating since 1999.
- How does this affect you?
Your IP addresses, server hardware and data will remain the same. There is no intervention required from you from the moment the maintenance begins to the moment it ends. As with any other intervention that requires to physically access your server, we would recommend you to backup your data prior to the migration. Although extreme care will be put into making sure that everything goes smoothly, there is always room for a tragedy. Once the migration is completed, this ticket will be updated. Although we will carefully verify that each server has successfully booted into its operating system and is online, we strongly recommend you to double check. If you cannot be online at the date and time the maintenance will be completed, we recommend you to verify ahead of time that your server can survive a reboot (ie. that it boots into the correct kernel and that scripts and services required for your workload automatically start).
Note : We intend not to notify IP geolocation providers (e.g. IP2Location, MaxMind, etc.) of the location change, which should, eventually, be automatically detected. If you require the IP geolocation to be expeditiously updated, we welcome you to contact IP geolocation providers following the migration (we can also do this for you, on request).
- The datacenter migration should be welcomed as a material upgrade.
All services and IP addresses will be migrated from AS174 (Cogent Communications) to AS64236. The upgrade from a Cogent single-homed network to UnReal Servers' multi-homed network will provide tremendously improved network performance. The most noticeable impact will be dramatically lowered latency and lowered (to virtually none) packet loss to destinations that were previously hard to reach, such as Asia. Customers will also notice substantially increased single-thread network performance. This will be most noticeable when downloading or uploading files and being served video content, for instance. Customers being served high-resolution videos, for instance, will notice much less buffering. Multi-homed networks also benefit from resilience to failure. Cogent periodically carries maintenance to their network which were causing scheduled downtimes. This will no longer be a problem, as traffic will be redirected to a different peer in the event a transit provider performs a maintenance.
Another benefit is increased presence of on-site staff. FDC Servers' datacenters are not staffed around-the-clock. UnReal Servers' facility is staffed around-the-clock. This can make a huge difference in our response time to hardware failures.
Note that our operating costs will materially increase following this datacenter migration / upgrade. We however will not need to raise the price of any of our services.
- How will the migration be carried?
The datacenter migration will be carried by UnReal Servers' staff. Moving few metric tons of servers is challenging and the exact details of the move are still being worked on. The movers will first visit the site on May 27th, to better assess the situation. The next day, May 28th, the movers will begin loading the trucks early in the morning. Our goal is to minimize the duration of this step as much as possible. The servers will be labelled in a way that will allow the movers to unrack and load them without the need to produce any documentation. During the transit from Chicago to Kansas City (approximately 500 miles or 7h30, which will be uninterrupted), network engineers will work on the BGP configuration of Cogent's and UnReal Servers' edge routers to migrate the IP addresses. The racks at UnReal Servers will be already prepared, wired and with new network equipment, which will be pre-configured. Our goal, again, is to make unloading the trucks, racking and cabling the servers as quick as possible. If everything goes as planned, servers that are racked and wired at their designated location should come online without the need for any configuration change on our side.
- Can't this move be done overnight or during the weekend?
FDC Servers was unfortunately inflexible with regards to the available time slots for the move. Furthermore, as we serve customers from around the world, there is unfortunately no time slot that can accommodate everyone. Due to the change of ASN, all services have to be moved at once.
- Will my server be down for 12 hours?
More or less, yes. The transit from Chicago to Kansas City will take 7 to 8 hours, if road traffic is favorable. We estimate that racking and unracking the servers and loading and unloading the trucks will take at least 4 hours. Note that we may be significantly underestimating how long these steps will take. As much personnel as possible will be deployed to make this process as quick as possible.
We understand how inconvenient this datacenter migration may be. We would not subject our customers to such a disruptive maintenance if we were not forced to. Although a migration within Chicago was a possibility, this best case scenario would still have caused a downtime of at least 1 to 4 hours. To ensure that we do not have to ever increase our prices and continue offering services at the same low costs, our best option was to migrate services to Kansas City. We hope that the upgraded datacenter and network can balance for the inconvenience of the relocation.
Please let us know if you have any question or concern regarding this planned maintenance.
A second notification will be sent on May 27th, to confirm the move.
Thank you for your understanding,