Offering daily news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sorry about that downtime…

If you’re a loyal reader of the NPI Advocate, you may have noticed that this blog abruptly disappeared off the World Wide Web around 1:30 PM Pacific Time yesterday (along with the rest of and you may have wondered, Wow, what happened? What’s going on? After all, it’s pretty unsettling to load up a favorite website and get a generic Not Found error message.

The answer to that question is that the server where NPI’s Core site and the NPI Advocate were hosted up until early this morning experienced a hardware failure. More specifically, a hard disk died and could not be revived. It had to be replaced instead, and the files on it checked for integrity.

Disk drive failures are a fact of life, and while disks often quit working without any warning, it is possible to mitigate the downtime and disruption they cause.

We don’t feel that our host did a very good job of that. By the time the partition where resided was restored, half a day had elapsed, and technicians were still working on restoring other customers’ accounts.

We chose in late afternoon to reroute traffic to a temporary error page elsewhere, since we didn’t know how long the downtime was going to last. As the day wore on, we decided the time was ripe to relocate to a new host, and, by early morning, the migration was largely complete. So far, we’re pleased with our new digs.

In fact, pleased would be an understatement. The server is on now runs very up to date software and seems well-tuned, which means this blog is a lot snappier. (What’s not to like about decreased load times?)

Thankfully, none of NPI’s other projects – Permanent DefensePacific NW Portal, the Olympia Newsriver, and Check the Attacks – were affected because they are hosted separately in a state-of-the-art datacenter. (In Brief is hosted by Tumblr).

Eventually, we will migrate the NPI Advocate to the same location, and we’ll use our new host as an emergency backup in case of downtime there.

We’re big believers in the adage, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Yesterday’s downtime may have knocked us offline for a bit, but we’re back, and we’re back stronger. Thanks for sticking with us. And don’t forget, our 2013 Spring Fundraising Gala is coming up on April 5th. Buy your ticket today!