Recently, you likely noticed that GamingTrend.com and her forum took a substantial amount of downtime. Without going into a great amount of detail, our dedicated server took a supposed double hardware failure on our RAID1 drive array, and our hosting provider was little to no help in recovering our data. We enlisted some outside help and were able to recover the years of work we’ve put into our front page. While we may have rolled a 20 for that recovery, we unfortunately rolled a 1 on the forums. It’s a tremendous blow, but unfortunately the database for the forum data is unrecoverable despite over a weeks worth of earnest attempts.
On the topic of the forum, we moved from PhpBB to a software called Vanilla. Vanilla was supposed to bring the tight integration that we wanted to use to to unify two heretofore disconnected aspects of the site. Unfortunately, Vanilla couldn’t deliver on those promises, and the atrophy of the forums has continued.
While we may have lost the data in the old forums, we have another shot at properly integrating the front page and forums, and we believe we’ve found the right solution. While it does mean starting over, our new hosted software exists entirely in the cloud. It has every feature we wanted from the Vanilla forum software, but it layers in with our front page. Comments on the front page, as well as content on the front page are now fully integrated. What looks, on the surface, like a reset, is also an opportunity to rebuild it exactly the way we wanted it to work. This is our chance to rebuild our community. The new forum software has a lot of things folks have requested (such as a dark theme option), and a lot of great features that we are sure you’ll love (groups, better tagging, ability to make a post a wiki that is editable by everyone, and more).
But what about the front page? Well, there is no longer a “front page” and “forum”; divide. Beyond those semantics, by the time you read this, the “front page” will also be moved into the cloud. No longer will it reside on a single server. It has been moved into a grid of servers. Having worked for the company it is hosted on, I can tell you that the architecture is now three sets of load balancers with sixteen servers underneath that are then replicated WORLDWIDE, serving our content and forums to wherever YOU are. It is also backed up, and those backups are also distributed across multiple data centers We will never have downtime like what we’ve experienced in this last outage, and the site will be faster and more responsive than it ever has been. Buckle up folks…welcome to the next step for GamingTrend.
Editor in Chief