After six successful tests both yesterday and today, we are going to move the AAVSO website to the Cloud starting at 1200UTC (8:00AM Eastern Time) on Wednesday, 25 July.
We are hoping that, in addition to the last infrastructure change we made - serving the database from the same box as the webserver ran on - the larger bandwith inherent in the cloud will work to everyone's advantage. We have historically had a T1 bandwith for our website here at HQ, with greater bursts of throughput given to us by an additional modem I installed a couple of years ago, but now-a-days T1 is slow. With the website being on the cloud we're hoping the bandwith bottleneck will now be placed at your end, where it belongs. :-)
We've been building this new webserver for some time, and have been testing it this last week. So when will we do this?
The "trigger" on the new website will be pulled on Wednesday. The AAVSO website will be down from 1200-1600UTC (0800-1200 Eastern Time). This will mean that you will not be able to access anything - website, light curve generator, variable star plotter, or even adorable pictures of Snowy & Pixel, the AAVSO's First Cats - during that time period.
At the point the website comes down we will be doing a final sync of both the website contents and the databases to the cloud, changing all the pointers (just three now) to the new machine, and bringing things back up. Our tests show that this should take two hours, but I'm estimating we'll be down for four hours so I can then "look like a miracle worker."
If this works as designed and tested once we are back online the transition should appear transparent to you our users.
As usual, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!
Astronomical Technologist, AAVSO