Offsite Network Status Page

We know that when there is a problem with our services, one of the most important things for us to do is communicate effectively with you about what the problem is and when we expect it to be fixed. Nothing sucks more than being left in the dark.

Ordinarily, we use System Problem Reports on the Support panel in our member interface to let you know about problems with the service. In most cases, this works well.

However, certain categories of outages, like upstream network failures, can render us unable to post such reports, or leave you unable to read them until after the problem is resolved. While such events should be rare, that’s the most important time for us to be letting you know what’s going on.

To that end, we’ve created an offsite network status page at http://status.nearlyfreespeech.net/. This site runs on one of our servers located in Dallas. That server doesn’t depend on our Phoenix hosting cluster at all, and will continue to operate even if everything else is offline.

The Offsite Network Status Page collects information from three sources:

1) We can post information directly to that site in the event of a serious problem.

2) It attempts to download a list of System Problem Reports every few minutes.

3) It attempts to mirror recent blog posts every few minutes.

If either of the latter two automatic updates fail, that might indicate a problem, so the site will display a message to that effect, even if we haven’t been able to post any information manually yet.

This is a tool that we hope we don’t find ourselves using. However, it definitely falls into the category of things that is better to have and not need than to need and not have. In that spirit, we hope that you will add status.nearlyfreespeech.net as the bookmark you hope you never use.

3 Comments

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  1. Thanks for getting a backup site. It sucked for me, it must have sucked squared for you.

    — on a seperate note:
    when one of the unwashed masses has the temerity to type “nfshost.com” slothfully omitting the “www.” how about a link to http://www.nfshost.com at the top of the righteously indignant ‘Unknown Site: nfshost.com’ page.

    You might as well headline the page

    ‘We, and obviously you as well, are unable to fathom the meaning of your unworthy begging. We know damn well what you really want, which is to bring the net crashing down out of being too lazy to type www.’

    You might, however, bear in mind, some of the folks hitting that page, like me, probably just think your servers are screwed up.

    Please note: I’m not suggesting, heaven forbid, you should actually forward the retarded and_or indolent non-typers of “www.” As South Park teaches us, we can tolerate, without accepting, people with disgusting habits.

    Thank you very much.
    hanzie.

    I’ve changed http://nfshost.com/ to behave just like http://nearlyfreespeech.net/ always has. Thanks for the suggestion! -jdw

    Comment by Steve — February 19, 2007 #

  2. Steve – I take it you’re not a founding member of http://no-www.org/ ?

    Comment by Paul Cager — February 20, 2007 #

  3. Well, now I feel like an idiot.
    hanzie.

    Comment by Steve — February 21, 2007 #

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