A note on ICECAP

Many have inquired in comments what’s happened to the ICECAP website. My query to Joe D’Aleo was answered this morning, looks like servicide.

I noticed the outage yesterday, AM.  I had emailed and spoke to the hosting customer at [my] hosting support yesterday morning and they said server with ICECAP had hardware failure and they were working in it. I was traveling giving a talk in Chicago yesterday and assumed/hoped it was back up. Found out last evening still out with no estimate for return. I was about to upgrade to a dedicated server with them.
I will talk to manager when he comes in this AM. It was not a DOS [attack] it appears. I am home today so I can stay on their case. Usually the outages last minutes with reboot all that has been needed They assure me they back up everything. God forbid if not. I had 3450 stories stored.
Losing a server is about as stressful as you can get in daily work. Been there, done that. – Anthony

35 thoughts on “A note on ICECAP

  1. I agree that losing a server is stressful.
    Backups are essential, and it only takes one lost drive to demonstrate that. Which is why I was so annoyed when my second drive bricked and I still didn’t have everything ready to go back online last month for my own server…

  2. Let’s hope ICECAP will back in full swing very soon. It is too good to lose for even a minute!
    I have to admit, I had been wondering whether the UK Government, with all its controls on society coupled with its desire to “control” internet sites & access all in the name of protecting the people from all the bad things out there, if they would begin to nominate sites that shouldn’t be allowed to be accessed, in their opinion!

  3. Really glad to hear Joe is alright and it’s only his server. It’s been desolation, ICECAP coming up 404 File not Found – and that’s only after one day!
    Lesson to all – backup your own work on your own media and bury it in the garden where the dog can’t find it. I hope Joe’s 3450 stories are recovered. There’s a lot of re-writing to be done, otherwise.
    DOS? From cretins Jim and Al? Gimme a break.

  4. A half way responsible Host will do a daily backup. I have server space on a computer in NJ (Z3 – one of the best) where I house 257 of mine and my client’s accounts. They had a major breach sometime back where someone caused considerable damage to their system. They quickly moved all my accounts to a new server and used the previous day’s backuo to restore just about everything. The only missing items were those which occurred in the 6 hours between the backup and the restore.
    Hopefully Joe will be in good shape.

  5. The server is answering pings. Maybe reviving it is harder than they thought. I guess they feel ICECAP doesn’t pay enough for hardware redundancy.

  6. I was wondering if it was caused by an attack as their is an awful lot of that lately, particularly aimed at anything that doesn’t follow the pc line.

  7. “Swine flu. Definitely.”
    you beat me to it.
    Hope they’re back soon, I’m jonesing already.

  8. Thanks for the update Anthony. I have checked a number of times and late yesterday got the Apache server test page a number of times. I knew then that they were working on the problem.
    Hope they get it back up soon.

  9. My company belongs to a network-Any little thing and the server barfs.Learned
    to backup a long time ago.I feel for Joe…

  10. Understand the stress of losing a server. Used to be a Novel Netware manager years ago.
    There is another site I am missing. Getting withdrawal symptoms from not being able to read current arctic air temperature from Argos bouy 2006C. Where is…

  11. Douglas DC (09:58:41) :
    > My company belongs to a network-Any little thing and the server barfs. Learned to backup a long time ago.I feel for Joe…
    I’m not sure which is worse – sitting down and recovering/rebuilding your own system or waiting helplessly while the ISP does it.
    I work one town over from Joe, we had a power fault yesterday AM that killed one of our departmental servers, and I was wondering if took down icecap too. However, it sounds like the server is not nearby.
    I like to maintain files on my website at home and then upload the changes. That way either system can melt and the other will still have the data.

  12. I hope they reexamine their configuration also. It’s hard to keep up with their stories without a working RSS feed.

  13. “we had a power fault yesterday AM that killed one of our departmental servers,”
    I urge everyone to buy a hefty Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) and insert it between your computer and the power line. I’m damn glad I did. (You can get used ones cheap at used PC stores. Just buy new or reconditioned lawn mower batteries and replace the old ones.)

  14. I don’t know who hosts Icecap, but I use Godaddy for all my sites and my client’s sites. This is not a paid endorsement, but a suggestion.

  15. I’ve not read the comments here yet–wanted to get this said before I got distracted–so somebody may have already said it[1].
    Mr. Watts: Thank you for publishing this item and checking up on the problem.
    I had noticed the outage and wondered what happened, but had no idea where to turn for information about it.
    [1] ‘Sokay — it is hard to say “thank you” too many times.

  16. Speaking of uninterruptable power supplies:

    Roger Knights (11:14:01) :
    “we had a power fault yesterday AM that killed one of our departmental servers,”
    I urge everyone to buy a hefty Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) and insert it between your computer and the power line. I’m damn glad I did. (You can get used ones cheap at used PC stores. Just buy new or reconditioned lawn mower batteries and replace the old ones.)

    Most computer store UPS are designed to provide enough power for a PC for long enough to properly shut it down if primary power fails. If you have long interruptions and want to continue running, get a bigger battery and install it outside the case. Or if you have sensitive equipment and want to run it continuously through the UPS, then look for the configuration which always runs the inverter. It will have a heftier charging side to support the total load. There are several variations in applying UPS which are beyond what can be accurately discussed in a blog post. See a professional if you have a unique requirement. I presently have 4 running and 2 spares. And don’t forget to test the batteries at least once a month.

  17. FWIW, I did a lot of colo and similar work. Some of the stuff we set up was pretty trick (duplicate live data at Colorado colocation facility and main California site live in real time with redundancy at both sites…) It’s all just a matter of how much money to toss at it.
    What I do for my stuff “on the cheap” is each article is on my laptop hard drive and the server. The laptop is backed up via a USB removable hard drive (kept in a metal box mostly – EMP proof) “every so often”. Every so often, the laptop drive is backed up to CD / DVD that are archived elsewhere (fire risk?). So there are 4 copies on 2 media types in 3 physically distinct places… And it costs nearly nothing for the TeraByte slow USB drives and blank DVD’s…
    That they have hardware responding to pings is the first step (and it’s IP is configured so it knows who it is 😉 Now they will be working through all those backups… It takes time to put them back together (I know, I’ve done it a few dozens of times…)
    FWIW, I’ve done a not running out of STUFF page. Why? Folks on ‘the other side’ often seem to think we are going to hit a resource wall Real Soon Now and I’ve gotten tired of retyping it each time. Besides, this one has pretty pictures and better proof reading 😉
    Maybe I should add a paragraph about the cheapness of hardware and the virtue of RAID-5 with redundant hot swap servers…

  18. Oh, and on the USP thread:
    One of the major features they provide is that transients and spikes will kill them and not your computer. Yeah, not an “advertized feature” but one I’m really happy to have anyway… No data lives on my UPS …
    “My God Man, that One BIG Fuse!”

  19. Donald Wilson (16:36:48) :
    Icecap is back as of 4:35pm PT, but newest content is April 29, 2009.

    Sounds like the month ending backup. Give them a bit of time, they may well be loading the daily incrementals with the system live …
    Also, FWIW, The Wayback Machine might have some pages. It’s very useful when all else fails…

  20. Paul Vaughan (13:17:16) :

    To Ric Werme:
    Someone has impersonated me on your site:
    Remove my name from the comment.

    Interesting. My site is wermenh.com, http://www.backtype.com a is Mountain View, CA business that I was unaware of. They appear to “scrape” web pages here and I assume elsewhere and collect people’s comments in one place.
    It’s not my site, I can’t remove your name. Looking through http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/22/natural-drivers-of-weather-and-climate/ I accurately quoted from posts marked as posted by Paul Vaughan. He even thanked me for one of posts with links to past blog entries.

  21. Re: Ric Werme (21:19:34)
    Thanks for the reply Ric – and my sincere apologies for addressing you in the imperative.
    The Paul Vaughan who thanked you for the links in the earlier WUWT thread – that was me.
    Thanks to your note about “scraping”, I now see that they were quoting you quoting me. I’ve never encountered this term “scrape” (but I get what it means intuitively) – do you know if such activity is legal (under all circumstances)?

  22. Actually, they were quoting you quoting me quoting the WUWT article – that explains why I did not recognize what appeared portrayed as “my” words.

  23. ICECAP is back with update of status as of May 8 !!!
    Friday, May 08, 2009
    My apologies for the site outage. A very rare major disc failure that affected a lot of clients of the hosting service occurred early on the 7th. The fastest way back was to reload the versions from April 29. They are still trying to bring back old server with info from May 6. Unfortunately the solution eliminated the 25 posts between April 29 and May 6.
    Rather than post the backlog of new stories and then have them disapppear when (being optimistic) the site is fully restored, I am only going to add this notice this evening and then reassess tomorrow. My apologies. A lot is going on to tell you about.
    Posted on 05/08 at 07:18 PM

  24. Paul Vaughan (23:38:58) :

    I’ve never encountered this term “scrape” (but I get what it means intuitively) – do you know if such activity is legal (under all circumstances)?

    Copyright law would apply. If Anthony squawked, he might get backtype.com to stop access WUWT. (Please don’t – it could be a useful resource for me.) However, copyright law does allow making excerpts of works, though making excerpts of everything would stretch the law quite a bit.
    Given the amount of stuff here and elsewhere that is quoted from other sources, backtype is doing something interesting (think prefetched Google searches) but nothing exceptional.
    As for scraping in general, search engines do that. I do that daily to create my Baseball Standings on the Run with the knowledge of the data source. It can cause some consternation in that the scrapers usually skip any ads and some odd .gif files used by some web hit counter systems.
    Again, providing a link back to the source is good manners.
    Some similar issues exist around “deep linking” where I could put a link to a current weather radar image at Intellicast in one of my pages. The result would be a better page for me, but Intellicast would bear the cost of bandwidth for the image and lose the ad revenue from “normal” access.

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