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Forum closed pending upgrade, flawed system?


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#1 bigPaws

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:27 PM

Hi,

I responded to an upgrade ticket around 6 hours ago with my FTP and Admin CP details. I then closed my forum to new posts - otherwise the backup that I just made would be out of date as soon as the next post was made. The problem is that my forum has now been closed for 6 hours and could remain that way for up to 48 hours I believe?

If I re-open my forum while waiting for IPS staff to do the upgrade, then I risk not having an up to date backup of the latest posts.

This system seems a little flawed in my opinion. I would much prefer book (several days in advance if necessary) and 'upgrade window' with IPS. This would a) allow me to keep the site closed for the minimum amount of time necessary and b) allow IPS to manage their work load far more efficiently. It would kind of be like the Genius Bar in Apple stores - where you book yourself a slot.

In the meantime, I guess I just have to keep my forum closed and hope IPS start the upgrade soon (it's a 2.3.x to 3.x job)?

My ticket number, in case any IPS staff spot this, is SR813725-uNd.

Hope the feedback is helpful

#2 Aiwa

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:35 PM

You can work out times with them and they try to hit them as best they can... You can usually only work out times during normal business hours...

If you submit a ticket w/o FTP or ACP details, it's like asking me to drive your car but taking the keys with you... It just delays things because they can't do anything...

It's difficult to just allocate a fixed time to an upgrade... There are MANY unknowns... I've run upgrades that take a matter of minutes, some a matter of hours, and seen others that take on the order of DAYS. Try rebuilding a few million posts from 2.x to 3.3.x.

Let alone the unknown of any database issues that may exist that might require custom SQL queries to repair so the upgrade can move forward...

It's not as cut and dry as it might seem.

#3 Charles

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:39 PM

This is a case where for $25 every six months we really cannot dedicate staff to sit waiting for a certain time window to do an upgrade :smile: ... also I see you are upgrading from 2.3.6 which in and of itself is an involved upgrade process and can take time. Finally, you'll note that on your license type upgrades are within a 5 day window. I see you only requested this upgrade a few hours ago so it very well may take longer than that ;)

If you need priority support and service you can certainly upgrade your license.
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#4 bigPaws

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:44 PM

You can work out times with them and they try to hit them as best they can... You can usually only work out times during normal business hours...

If you submit a ticket w/o FTP or ACP details, it's like asking me to drive your car but taking the keys with you... It just delays things because they can't do anything...

It's difficult to just allocate a fixed time to an upgrade... There are MANY unknowns... I've run upgrades that take a matter of minutes, some a matter of hours, and seen others that take on the order of DAYS. Try rebuilding a few million posts from 2.x to 3.3.x.

Let alone the unknown of any database issues that may exist that might require custom SQL queries to repair so the upgrade can move forward...

It's not as cut and dry as it might seem.



Hi,

I'm not sure why you mentioned submitting a ticket w/o the details? The first line of my post above states I submitted the necessary details 6 hours ago.

You're right that the timescale on an upgrade can vary massively. However, when they told me to take a backup and reply with my login details (which I did), they didn't then indicate at all the time frame for them starting the upgrade. While they may be unable to provide 'upgrade windows' - it would be polite/good customer service to at least give some indication on how long I need to keep my forum closed for.

If it's a case of time vs money, I would be happy to pay for the upgrade if it meant better communication and less time with the forum closed waiting for them to start.

This is a case where for $25 every six months we really cannot dedicate staff to sit waiting for a certain time window to do an upgrade :smile: ... also I see you are upgrading from 2.3.6 which in and of itself is an involved upgrade process and can take time. Finally, you'll note that on your license type upgrades are within a 5 day window. I see you only requested this upgrade a few hours ago so it very well may take longer than that ;)

If you need priority support and service you can certainly upgrade your license.


Hi Charles, am I meant to keep the forum closed for up to 5 days? I can't re-open it with the prospect of IPS upgrading it at any time and me then not having an up to date backup.

I'd happily pay a lot more than $25 to not have to keep the forum closed for up to 5 days. Also I have literally nothing I can say to my users at this stage other than "It will happen at some point".

#5 Aiwa

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:52 PM

You're right that the timescale on an upgrade can vary massively. However, when they told me to take a backup and reply with my login details (which I did), they didn't then indicate at all the time frame for them starting the upgrade. While they may be unable to provide 'upgrade windows' - it would be polite/good customer service to at least give some indication on how long I need to keep my forum closed for.

IIRC, upgrades are done in the order received. You may get a reply early to verify consent and that you have things backed up, etc... But the upgrade is still done in the order received..

It's not perfect, but you always have the option of performing the upgrade yourself if you are unable to wait an unknown time period for an upgrade. Upgrade a test install that's a copy of your live site.... That way you can have skins / mod upgrades in place as well before you upgrade your live board..

#6 Charles

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:03 PM

Hi Charles, am I meant to keep the forum closed for up to 5 days? I can't re-open it with the prospect of IPS upgrading it at any time and me then not having an up to date backup.

I'd happily pay a lot more than $25 to not have to keep the forum closed for up to 5 days. Also I have literally nothing I can say to my users at this stage other than "It will happen at some point".



I really cannot comment on if you need to keep your forum closed. That is your choice. Our staff never told you to close it so really that's a decision only you can make.

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#7 NenaDice

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:05 PM

The first line of my post above states I submitted the necessary details 6 hours ago.


6 hours is a short period time in regard with the ticket response time as it is stated in the Ipb details before you purchase it.

If you want the upgrade done quickly then you can alsways hire someone else to do it for you. Or better yet, try to do it yourself. It is not very complicated. All you have to do is follow the instructions inside the read me file that comes with the package. You can also make a duplication of your live forum to a test folder/subdomain and upgrade that first until you get the hang of it.

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#8 Wolfie

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:27 PM

I responded to an upgrade ticket around 6 hours ago with my FTP and Admin CP details. I then closed my forum to new posts - otherwise the backup that I just made would be out of date as soon as the next post was made. The problem is that my forum has now been closed for 6 hours and could remain that way for up to 48 hours I believe?

If I re-open my forum while waiting for IPS staff to do the upgrade, then I risk not having an up to date backup of the latest posts.

This system seems a little flawed in my opinion. I would much prefer book (several days in advance if necessary) and 'upgrade window' with IPS. This would a) allow me to keep the site closed for the minimum amount of time necessary and b) allow IPS to manage their work load far more efficiently. It would kind of be like the Genius Bar in Apple stores - where you book yourself a slot.

It may seem flawed but it's not. If you ask for a day/time to be arranged, then the person doing the upgrade might try to set something up. However, you should ask for it to be several days from now, where you would do a backup a few hours before, then you could close down your community.

Of course there is the alternative of getting help from someone else for it. The problem there though is that you could be getting help from someone that is malicious. So if you decide to ask for help outside of IPS with this, I strongly recommend checking a persons reputation to make sure that they've been genuinely helpful and not wrecked havoc for others sites. I'm sure there are a number of people who are IPS/PHP/FTP savvy that would be willing to help you, either for a small fee or even for free. Benefit is you could get it done on a one-on-one level, the downside is what I already mentioned.

That said, I'd be willing to help you if you want it. I've had some experience with doing 2.3 to 3.x upgrades (although for certain reasons, I can't provide references of those upgrades).


IIRC, upgrades are done in the order received. You may get a reply early to verify consent and that you have things backed up, etc... But the upgrade is still done in the order received..

To my understanding, it's on the last reply from the client, which seems fair. After all, what if IPS tries to perform the upgrade but is having trouble and that takes up half an hour of time before realizing that the client needs to be contacted to continue with the upgrade? Could be constant issues with an FTP connection or something else. Meanwhile, others are in line waiting and each opening of that same ticket pushes the others back even more. However by getting to tickets by last reply from the client, all tickets can be addressed in a faster fashion.

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#9 bigPaws

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:37 PM

I really cannot comment on if you need to keep your forum closed. That is your choice. Our staff never told you to close it so really that's a decision only you can make.


Hi Charles, the problem is (as mentioned earlier) that my back-up would be out of date if I didn't close it - the tech team could confirm this.

#10 Charles

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:39 PM

Hi Charles, the problem is (as mentioned earlier) that my back-up would be out of date if I didn't close it - the tech team could confirm this.


Yes I understand that but again it's your choice to close the forum. It's not something we tell you to do so it's not something we take into account with our upgrade policies either.

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#11 bigPaws

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:41 PM

What about if the tech team, when about to upgrade the site, updated the ticket with perhaps 15 minutes notice - I could then jump on to the server, do the backup and close the site.

Or if the tech team could give some idea of the queue length, at least then I could know what to do. For example, if they said "roughly 2 days" - then I could at least keep the forum open for another 24 hours if that makes sense?

#12 Wolfie

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:44 PM

What about if the tech team, when about to upgrade the site, updated the ticket with perhaps 15 minutes notice - I could then jump on to the server, do the backup and close the site.

Or if the tech team could give some idea of the queue length, at least then I could know what to do. For example, if they said "roughly 2 days" - then I could at least keep the forum open for another 24 hours if that makes sense?

The first part would be hard to do because what if you're asleep when the ticket is updated? For the second part, read a previous reply I made (a few posts up).

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#13 bigPaws

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:46 PM

I know what you mean about dealing with upgrades in order of first client to reply with the necessary details.

How about they say "For your standard upgrade you get in the queue, up to 5 days" or for $100 (4 times the effective cost) we can at least give you a 6 or 12 hour window.

I'm just thinking there must be a better solution for those who wish to take advantage of a professional upgrade - rather than to potentially a) sit with a closed forum for 5 days or b) have a back-up of their data which may end up being 5 days out of date should it have to be recovered (i.e. upgrade fails).

#14 Aiwa

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:52 PM

If you require upgrades to be done on your schedule.... It has been suggested to learn how to perform them yourself. Or, give that $100 to one of the individuals that perform custom services... I'm sure they can be quite a bit more flexible since you are paying them specifically for this task.
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#15 Rhett

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:01 PM

If this is a concern for some of you, the best method is to obtain priority support as add on with your license, it's an extra $225.00 to purchase it, and 25.00 more each 6 months, however this will speed things up for you if time is a concern and also provides phone support as well.

:)
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#16 bigPaws

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:06 PM

The first part [tech team giving 15 minutes notice before an upgrade starts] would be hard to do because what if you're asleep when the ticket is updated?


That's true, but it would still be better than the current setup. At the moment, I might do my back-up on a Monday but the tech team doesn't try the upgrade until Friday. If the upgrade then fails for some reason and the old data needs to be restored - then I would lose 4 days of posts, registrations, etc. To avoid this you have to close your site for the entire week. That's the problem in a nutshell. This upgrade service is aimed at users that need help and therefore setting up an hourly rotating MySQL dump is hardly a realistic option as they're unlikely to have those skills.

If this is a concern for some of you, the best method is to obtain priority support as add on with your license, it's an extra $225.00 to purchase it, and 25.00 more each 6 months, however this will speed things up for you if time is a concern and also provides phone support as well.

:smile:


Hi Rhett,

Thanks, $225 doesn't sound too bad. However, apart from phone support, are there any SLAs in terms of ticket response times, upgrades etc? I don't really want to pay extra and still end up with a non-specific time scale of X days for the upgrade to happen. You have my client details through the ticket mentioned above - so if you can let me know via there as I'm keen just to get on with this now (the site has been closed for 10 hours).

I think the current situation, where you're required to agree that you have a back-up of your data whilst also keeping the forum open (or closed), is contradictory. Without closing your forum for up to the entire time scale (5 days) then you can't really agree that you have an up-to-date back-up. I guess some people are mistaking this as a 'dig' - but I was just trying to give some constructive feedback. The answer it appears is either pay up more, shut up or do it yourself :smile:

#17 NenaDice

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:12 PM

The answer it appears is either pay up more, shut up or do it yourself :smile:


You say it like that is a 'bad' answer, but those (minus the shut up part as I did not see anyone here to tell you to shut up), are the only alternatives if you are not satisified with the support ticket current time frame.
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#18 bfarber

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:19 PM

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#19 Wolfie

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:19 PM

If you require upgrades to be done on your schedule.... It has been suggested to learn how to perform them yourself. Or, give that $100 to one of the individuals that perform custom services... I'm sure they can be quite a bit more flexible since you are paying them specifically for this task.

For reasons I won't go into, I'm willing to do it free for bigPaws.


Thanks, $225 doesn't sound too bad. However, apart from phone support, are there any SLAs in terms of ticket response times, upgrades etc? I don't really want to pay extra and still end up with a non-specific time scale of X days for the upgrade to happen. You have my client details through the ticket mentioned above - so if you can let me know via there as I'm keen just to get on with this now (the site has been closed for 10 hours).

You can go here to see the differences...
http://www.invisionpower.com/buy/

Scroll down and click on 'Compare support options' which will be in faded text unless you click one of the Chat packages. It's still clickable though.

Standard license:
  • Ticket support
  • 2 business days ticket response
  • 5 day major version upgrade turnaround
  • Minor version upgrade via easy upgrade pack
  • Included in license price
Priority license:
  • Phone & ticket support
  • Same business day ticket response
  • 1 day major version upgrade turnaround
  • 1 day minor version upgrade turnaround
  • Additional $225 per community

If $225 is reasonable to you and your community is busy enough to warrant it, then I recommend going with that. Keep in mind that the ticket response times are based on business days, so weekends and holidays are exempt from the SLA, although IPS has been known to respond to tickets on 'off' days as well.

Edit: Brandon beat me to it, OOF! :lol:

Edited by Wolfie, 15 August 2012 - 04:23 PM.

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#20 bigPaws

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:53 PM

That's a very kind offer thanks :smile:

I've decided to re-open the forum for now. If they say up to 5 days, then it's highly unlikely they try the upgrade in the next 48 hours.

The solution to this (other than those mentioned above) would be for the tech team to just do a MySQL dump right before the upgrade. If they did this, then it would avoid the need to choose between keeping a forum open or losing up to 5 days data (if the upgrade failed). Wouldn't that be a good compromise?




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