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Jeru

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I do agree that we do something, but I'd like a more fixed suggestion to vote on. This exact option seems more like a general suggestion to me than an exact suggestion to use that specific service. I really think we need to sort out Trac/SVN as well, for which we really need to get Philip on board :P

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It's not really more information I need in that sense, I'd just like to have Jan or someone else say more directly that they suggest we use "this specific service" and "this specific plan". I guess it's been implied, I just would like to have it clearer so I'm certain about what I'm about to decide on :)

And I can try, though I really think Jan has to try and convince Philip, because it's hard when you don't really know the technical details of things. I'm really starting to think things need to change though as Trac is becoming more and more plagued by spammers, and we'd really ought to set the email server up properly so emails don't get caught before they even reach users spam filters.

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Once we iron out the exact transition plan, we can move ahead with authorizing funds for paying for the new host through what I deem to be the best option: SPI.

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We now have a transition plan thanks to Jan and input from others at our last staff meeting.

Factors to consider for our hosting needs

  • Hardware and the related infrastructure should be rented and managed by the provider

  • Software needs to be manageable without too much time investment (we can't commit to X hours per week, it needs to run itself)

  • Management tasks need to be divisible amongst several people (it can't depend on one person)

  • People who manage certain services, should not run into software limits/restrictions (they need root access)

  • It should be cost effective

Proposed solution: Rent hardware, have multiple virtual machines

A rented, dedicated server allows WFG to decentralize the management of various services in order to better use our resources. The hardware is the responsibility and property of the provider. The server is installed with Centos (a Linux distribution made for stability & long support time) and is configured to be a virtual server host. An administration interface is installed (X2Go via SSH) where virtual machines can be managed. On the server, each different web service (website, forum, etc.) is isolated on its own virtual machine (VM). This ensures that only the certain people who need to manage the service have full access to their VM at the root level whilst not interfering with other services. Additionally, should one web service be compromised, then the others will not be affected because they reside on separate VMs. In conclusion, the different people who need to manage a service get full access to their VM without getting in the way of others and management is no longer the sole responsibility of one person. This effectively gives Wildfire Games the ability to do something which it can not do currently: fully control its hosting resources and access.

Managed Access

Access to the server itself is granted to only a few individuals known as the hosting committee. They will have administrative access to the server which allows them to set up VMs. The hosting committee will make informed decisions during public meetings which services get separate VM, and which individuals are assigned administration of that specific VM. In this manner, we can easily manage who has access to which VMs. A list is kept of all VMs and passwords and the people who have been delegated administrative responsibilities of the VM. The hosting committee members shall be comprised of four individuals who must provide emergency contact details to Wildfire Games so that they may be reached in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Implementation

Once the treasury committee approves the purchase, the following action plan will be pursued:

  1. Jan (implodedok) will set up the hardware and install the OS and configure it as a virtual server host along with admin interfaces..

  2. Jan will make an extensive guide that documents how the server is set up in the interest of maintenance in the future.

  3. The virtual machines can be installed on a per case basis. Jan will make a virtual machine for the IRC bot and transfer it to the new host as a test case. Provided the transfer goes smoothly, the next services to be moved will most likely the main website (wildfiregames.com) and the 0 A.D. project website (play0ad.com); however, the order in which services are ported is at the discretion of the hosting committee. The hosting committee will make informed decisions during public meetings which services get separate virtual machines, who has administrative access to them, and so on.

  4. Once the separate virtual machine managers are assigned, they can start to install or migrate services. Doing migration work is relegated to the service managers so they can do the migration of service as it fits best in their schedules. Ideally all services should be ported over within 15 days of the virtual machine creation. The hosting committee will oversee the migration of services and tabulate records of what is running on each virtual machine.

My personal opinion is that we pay for this on an annual basis through SPI. At the end of each year we can choose to renew the contract based on a reassessment of the situation.

Once members of the hosting committee are decided, I will go ahead and create an internal forum (due to the sensitive nature of the content) and we can kick off. The way things things are looking right now, I am optimistic we can get things started by the end of July/early August.

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My personal opinion is that we pay for this on an annual basis through SPI. At the end of each year we can choose to renew the contract based on a reassessment of the situation.

The hosting company, Hetzner, only accepts payment via credit card. In that case the money should flow through SPI to reimburse the designated person who pays the bill.

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First, sorry I didn't reply yesterday.

Second, generally speaking this sounds like a solid plan and I think we should move forward with it.

Third, specifically though it would be nice to at least have considered the hosting committee/people responsible for each service before actually starting to do these things (both so we are reasonably sure we have people for all tasks, and so we don't lose a lot of time waiting for people to do the different tasks).

Fourth, I definitely agree with the opinion expressed in the IRC discussion that options for backup are best investigated once we know for sure what's needed. However, I do think we should have backup routines for all services set up before going live (on a per service basis I mean, not that everything has to be set up before we can start actively using say the IRC bot). I don't think anyone thinks otherwise, I just want to add it as a reminder so we don't forget.

Fifth, once we have a decision (and assuming we decide to move forward with the plan above) I suggest that Aviv contacts SPI to investigate for sure whether they might pay via credit card/that we after talking with SPI contacts the hosting company to investigate whether that truly is the only option (might be different if you have an organization like that to handle things than for individuals).

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Third, specifically though it would be nice to at least have considered the hosting committee/people responsible for each service before actually starting to do these things (both so we are reasonably sure we have people for all tasks, and so we don't lose a lot of time waiting for people to do the different tasks).

Oh whoops I thought this was a given :P Jan, you, and I are on the hosting committee. In order to be on their, we must disclose contact info (which we already have internally) in the case of an emergency. We're the ones with server access and manage the whole list of services, maintainers, etc. All the other details like each service and whatnot will be made in a bit. I was waiting for a vote from us before I go ahead and make the forum for that ;)

Fourth, I definitely agree with the opinion expressed in the IRC discussion that options for backup are best investigated once we know for sure what's needed. However, I do think we should have backup routines for all services set up before going live (on a per service basis I mean, not that everything has to be set up before we can start actively using say the IRC bot). I don't think anyone thinks otherwise, I just want to add it as a reminder so we don't forget.

Thanks for the reminder, yes that is part of the protocol. We will investigate more in-depth as migration continues. The first test case is the IRC bot for specific reason, so we can see how it all turns out. The only thing i have an issue with is the forum, but there many many many things that can be archived. I personally favor replacing IPBoard with something FREE and less cumbersome. But we've used this for years so migrating now would be rather irritating.

Fifth, once we have a decision (and assuming we decide to move forward with the plan above) I suggest that Aviv contacts SPI to investigate for sure whether they might pay via credit card/that we after talking with SPI contacts the hosting company to investigate whether that truly is the only option (might be different if you have an organization like that to handle things than for individuals).

Good idea!

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SPI writes:

Generally, SPI prefers that someone from member projects makes the

purchase and gets reimbursed.


However, if there is specific cause for SPI to make the purchase

directly, we have a credit card we use for that. In that case, we would

prefer to pay for a year in advance instead of doing monthly billing,

just to cut down on our overhead.

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Update: Thankfully, we are now we are paying for hosting directly from our SPI funds using an SPI credit card.

The first installment of 157.98 EUR (appx. 171.33 USD) came out of my credit card on 18/01/2015.

I am asking the rest of the Treasury Committee for permission to ask SPI for a reimbursement, plus wire transfer charges, which, according to my records, are 22 USD.

Total: 193 USD.

Thanks.

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Yes, I approve for reimbursing Aviv for the first payments for hosting.

Glad to see SPI is in charge of it now!

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@implodedok wrote me on Facebook Messenger:

Quote

We're having some hardware issues with our server for Wildfire Games (again).  Best option is to rent a newer one and migrate.  Shouldn't cost more monthly, but there probably will be some one-time setup fee of around 70 euros probably.

I vote in favor of approving a one-time setup fee of up to 100 euros.

What do you say, @feneur?

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I vote in favor. Better to take care of it now than wait and risk more issues/higher costs.

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