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[Savannah-hackers-public] Savannah Frontend Upgrade

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: [Savannah-hackers-public] Savannah Frontend Upgrade
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2020 13:55:26 -0700

Savannah Hackers,

After being stalled for a while due to Life, The Universe, and
Everything, work picked back up again on upgrading the OS hosting the
web UI frontend0.  To catch up on the happenings let me refresh the

We asked the FSF admins to clone the VM image of frontend0 creating
frontend1 as a fork of it so that we could safely work on the upgrade
off to the side in parallel with but not affecting the running
production system frontend0.  Then we upgraded frontend1's Trisquel OS
from Belenos 7 to the latest release Trisquel Flidas 8.

That OS upgrade brings in many significant upgrades including an
upgrade from PHP 5 to PHP 7.  And also introduces systemd with another
collection of significant changes.

Ineiev did the majority of the real work in making the web UI upgrade
possible by working through the PHP code and making upgrades needed
for the PHP 7 changes.  That work made this upgrade possible!

I think the new system is ready to go.  It has actually been in this
state for some time but did not wan to make the switch until it would
happen at a time I would be available to monitor it and react to any
problem reports.  That time has now arrived.  I have switched the DNS
from the old frontend0 to the new frontend1.

If people would be so kind as to keep an eye on the web interface and
report any breakage that would be most appreciated.  Of course this
has no effect at all on the rest of the version control backend
services.  Except pessimist me knows that there will almost certainly
be something we missed that will be broken and need to be fixed in the
interaction between the systems.

A small block diagram type design change was made with this upgrade.
The web UI saves uploaded file attachments.  Previously this was
locally stored on the frontend0.  This has been changed to be shared
on NFS in the vcs partition where multiple frontend{0,1,n} systems can
share it.  Since there is no longer any saved local state local to the
web UI system it means we can switch between frontend systems as
needed without worry as to the local file state.  It would also mean
that we could scale-out with multiple load balancing frontend systems
if that were needed too.  In any case local saved attachments, the
only local saved state, is now on the shared NFS storage.

Now it is time to look at upgrades for the other systems.  Each as its
own unique challenges.  :-)


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