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Lerillos
Lerillos
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re: Concerning Data Center Move

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Hey, All!   (work in progress -citations needed)

 

Here is an explanation of the Data Center Move, gathered from the LOTRO Forum Posts of Vyvyanne (Executive Producer) and Frelorn (Senior Community Manager) .  It may not be correct, but as you will see, others also have this view.  It is also the only REASONABLE explanation to fit all the facts. (Please note that whinging, griefing, trolling, and the like have been winnowed out.)

 

THE ANNOUNCEMENT 

In January, 2015, Vyvyanne posted an Executive Producer's Letter, outlining the plans for the year.  It included two new Data Centers; the closing of 19 worlds and the remaining of 10 worlds (none named at this time); the transfer/migration from closed to open worlds.  A general timeline was given.  

 

THE PLAN  

The Two New Data Centers were to be located in New Jersey for the North American servers (NA/US), and in Amsterdam for the Europaean servers (EU).  Both locations are in or near major international financial districts, which have excellent internet connections and incredibly high speed transmissions.  This would reduce or eliminate much of the lag and other connection difficulties that were currently being experienced on the Boston Servers. 

The original plan was to build, test, debug and be ready to move onto the new servers by the middle of the year.   After the move onto the New Servers, the Transfers would begin.  All the major migrations were to be completed by October, 2015.  Only the Open Worlds would move to the new Data Centers.  The Closed Worlds would stay at the Boston Data Center forever.

 

WHAT HAPPENED

The Two New Data Centers (supplies purchased and shipped locally, and built on site) met with repeated delays and setbacks.  Again and again, both Vyvyanne and Frelorn posted apologies for the delays.  (NOTE:  Someone said that he/she had heard an authority say that the new servers are so big that all the LOTRO playing population could fit onto 2 of the new servers. Although documentation was never seen to support this statement, given the capabilities of current hardware, perhaps this is not as wild a statement as first appears.)

Long before the Data Centers were ready for use, an announcement was posted giving the names of the Open/Remaining Servers.  The Closing/Sunset servers were paired (one NA, one EU) in order of closing, beginning with the least populated and ending with the most highly populated of the closing servers.   Brandywine (open world), already overpopulated, especially after the closing of the Three Russian Servers in January, servers previously unknown to most of us, was closed to migration either in or out till further notice, leaving Nine Servers open for migration in.  As everyone was still on the Boston Servers, the migrations would be carefully monitored to avoid overloading any of the Nine Worlds open to migration. 

Before migrations were allowed, Turbine tested the New Transfer System on both Bullroarer (Beta Test Server) and Palantir (Alpha Test Server), in order to prevent loss in the aether of either character or items.  First, transfers were tested by going from a regular server to Bullroarer.  After the bugs were worked out of that, testing was made by moving between Bullroarer and Palantir.  (NOTE:  One does not actually transfer to a test server.  One COPIES to a test server.  Once copied to Bullroarer, one then MOVED ONE'S COPY between the two test servers.  Normally, one does not move between the two test servers, but since the test involved moving between worlds, they opened both for testing the move.)  

A few annoying bugs were found and fixed after transfers opened on Live, but the critical problems had been resolved on the test servers.  The REAL problem that occurred was terrible lag. Transfers were taking up to 8 hours to complete.  This was identified as being attributed to EVERYONE wanting to transfer at once, causing a major traffic jam.  Interestingly, when the volume of transfers lessened, so did the lag.   

After the Christmas 2015/New Year's 2016 holiday season was past, Vyvyanne announced the date of the Data Center Move.   (Data Center?  Is that a typographical error?)    This would occur on January 11, 2016.  On Landroval, this raised concern because Winterstock III was scheduled  for Friday 1/15-Monday 1/18, 2016.  How would this move affect that event?

When questioned, Vyvyanne said that all worlds would be moving to the New Jersey Data Center for the present.  The EU servers would move from New Jersey to Amsterdam at a later date. (Not a typographical error, after all.)  Turbine needed to move the Open Worlds from the Boston Data Center now and quit paying rent.  This led one of the posters to give a Real Estate analogy, which, looking at the facts given, fit perfectly.  (EDITORIAL NOTE:  Just an observation.  Although some of the Europaean Community is upset over the late move to Amsterdam, believing that they will need to go through this initial phase of freezes and disconnects again, it is quite likely that as the New Jersey team resolves the issues in New Jersey, these corrections are being copied in Amsterdam.  By the time the European Worlds are moved to the Amsterdam Data Center, the move should be seamless, with the difference being noticeable improvement.)

 

THE RESULT

Because, as Vyvyanne indicated Turbine had a departure deadline to meet, the move took place before Turbine was really prepared to do so.  This in spite of careful planning, and allowing time for delay.  As a result, we are currently seeing some bumps in the road: lag, freezing, stuttering, disconnects, chat problems, and more.  In spite of the problems, Winterstock was successfully held, all 41 bands played, and a respectable number of folks attended the 4 day event.  The only major problems Winterstock experienced came from griefers, but that is a different story.

 

THE FUTURE

Although we are currently experiencing difficulties, the intent is to eliminate all of this and and to have smooth, effortless playtime. 

 

 

 

 (to be continued)

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