Mid-holidays fix

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Instead of the planned post where we look forward to the new year, this post is an “in between” post to explain what has been going on during the holidays.

Over the holidays, several of you have noticed the following screen pop up every now and then when trying to use RPGpad:

Error page alluding to trampling hordes of orcs

It turns out that there was not trampling horde of orcs, nor were the servers eaten by a grue. What was actually happening was that our database server was running out of memory which caused it to stop operating.

The lack of database server, in turn, caused the RPGpad site itself to stop working for anything that required the database to be available. Seeing how the database is necessary for most operations, this effectively shuts down the whole site.

The first time this situation occurred I had some friends over for the holidays, and I tried a quick fix to reduce memory usage by the database server.

Unfortunately this did not work. A few days later during the holidays, just as we entered the new year, the site was unavailable again. After some more investigation, we opted to increase the amount of memory available to the database server by upgrading the servers we are using.

We want your campaigns on RPGpad to be available no matter what. They should be there at all times, you should be able to get at your campaign even when everybody is on holidays — especially when everybody is on holidays — and play with friends.

So, to prevent outages like this, and to limit their duration if they occur despite our preparation, we will be setting up monitoring and alerts. Regardless of day or night, work week or holiday, we will be alerted to the problem and get to work on fixing it immediately!

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this, the changelog is the perfect place to discuss!