As you might know, the next version of Minecraft is around the corner and should be released sometime today. I am hoping that we will be able to upgrade ASAP, meaning earliest tomorrow. If there are some crucial plugins failing, we might have to postpone. If some non-crucial plugins fail, we will disable those until they are updated for the latest Minecraft version. The plugin issues we had over the last upgrades were only with the really old plugins we still head, but there should not be many of them still around. So I am quite positive that we will be able to upgrade over the weekend.
I went and checked if we can get a better server hardware for the same money, and it turns out that we can get a server that is much faster, has much more HD space (space is always a bit of an issue due to the frequent backups we are making) and a newer operating system – for much less money. The only thing that we are not upgrading is the RAM, but we are not using it 100% anyhow right now. The issue with the current server is that the operating system is basically not upgrade-able. We want to upgrade mainly the Python and most importantly PHP to version 7. PHP 7 is by dimensions faster than the current version and should improve our in-game commands and the website. However, PHP 7 has deprecated some functions and it’s a bit risky to upgrade on the same machine only to see that something broke. Python 2.6 which we are using has reached end-of-life but some core OS features rely on 2.6 until we install a new OS overall. While there are some messy ways to run 2 versions of Python parallel, but if we can do it clean with a new OS it’s a good added benefit with the hardware and PHP upgrade.
So I am taking the opportunity to first get a new server, set that one up and then move all the systems 1 by 1 over from the old one and check if they work well. Like this we don’t have any risks or downtime. The one month overlap in which we run (and pay) 2 servers is not an issue since this type of move will give me much less of a headache to fix things immediately. Further, since the new server is cheaper, there is a good return on investment in doing that upgrade. This server move will not influence the timeline of the above Minecraft upgrade.
I ordered the server already, it should be setup as and ready within the next 24 hours and then I will start to install systems etc. See you on the other side!