As you all know Railworks America has been growing very rapidly and as a result of this more and more resources of our shared server are being used. We have began to use so much CPU and PHP resources that are host has required us to move the RWA site to a dedicated server. On Wednesday, November 27, I purchased a dedicated server. This morning, Friday, November 29, I put in a request to transfer the files from the old site to the new. They sent me a final verification email to get the job going so it will be underway at any time. The site may slow down a little bit while this process is going on but I'm hoping that you will not notice it very much.
On Sunday, December 1, I will be shutting everything down and putting the site and the forum into maintenance mode. And then I will put in the request to transfer the DNS names to the new site this propagation could take 24 to 48 hours. The site will be shut down later in the evening approximately 8 PM EST. At that time I will make a backup of the forum of any posts that were made over the weekend while the transfer was being made so that nothing should get lost. Once the DNS name has propagated I will then make a check of the site and the forum to make sure everything is operating correctly. This means that the site could be down till Wednesday next week sometime however, it could very well be done sooner.
These are the specs of the system that I purchased hopefully this will get us through all our recent growing pains for another $20 a month I can increase the RAM to 8 gig if need be. The system is $150 a month and is totally maintained by the host. They have the best tech support I have ever come across so I have no worries about anything.
Operating System: CentOS 6 (64bit)
CPU Processor Type: 2 x Quad-Core Xeon E5420 2.50 Ghz
Memory Installed: 4GB
Hard Drive Configuration: 500 GB SATA (7.2k) 1 TB SATA (7.2k)
Bandwidth: 10 TB/Month
This dedicated server will be costing four times more than the current reseller account that I have been quite frankly it's a bit too much for me to handle so I'm going to need help. Several generous people have already donated enough funds to pay for two months of server fees. But I am going to need more help than this.
Since I started train simming in 2001 my main goal was to keep everything free. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have a site like Railworks America with an extremely active forum and a huge file library that keeps on growing. And this now is going to make me do something I never wanted to do and that is ask for help.
At this time there is a group of third-party developers creating some new donation Ware for me to offer in order to get funds to help pay for the server. Some of these projects could take up to six months and some of them could supply me with funds for one to possibly three years of server fees of course that all depends on how well they will be accepted. Since these are all a "what if" situation I will have to do something that is a little more reliable to ensure that I will be able to cover the costs.
I am now searching for a module that will let everyone create an account for the website. I will then need a module to keep track of subscriptions. Yes I realize this is not going to be popular with everyone but this time I do not know what else to do. If I would hit the Powerball already and there would be no problem and try as I might I have had no success at that either. So I'm going to have to rely on all of you to lend me a hand to keep probably the best RailWorks site around alive.
Although this is not going to take place overnight as I may even have to pay for custom-made modules to do what I want to do and that is to apply a quota to how much you can download per month. At this time I am not sure what this quota will be that I am figuring somewhere between one gig and five gig per month that you will still be able to download for free. Download speeds will not be throttled back as I really hate that as I am also a user of other sites and I know what frustration that brings.
I believe I will have to ask for between $10 and $5 per year for the subscriptions enabling you to have unlimited downloading. If I asked for $10 and it ends up being more than I need I will adjust everything to make the $10 subscription be good for 2 years instead of one. I am not doing this to make a profit as this is my hobby just as it is yours and we do pay enough for everything else that we get. I just need some help.
The forums will remain their own entity just as they are now, they will always be free. They will continue to be run as they are now trying to have a positive environment for everyone to enjoy. This was the concern of a few people, but I personally cannot see how someone could charge for you to access their forum and I would never do something so ridiculous. There will be no pop-up ads, I hate all that stuff to and I am not going to bombard you with stuff that I hate because I use the forums and the website too.
Several people have already commented that they might not like having their uploads being under a subscription. I'll gladly comply with anyone's wishes as to the situation if you require your files to be removed, I will do with them as you wish. I would rather not have to diminish the file library but I am not going to go against any author's wishes as it is your stuff and your rights.