Upgrades needed - new MTS donation drive! - Update: Closed!
I've decided to stop the donation drive as donations slowed to a trickle. The final amount raised was $5,395 - just short of the stretch goal! Thank you to everybody who donated!
Whats going to happen now? Well, I can prepay the new server for 9 months, then use the rest for extra months - but now we have a good basis for the next year on new hardware, with your help. I'll update a new thread on more detailed migration plans, estimated dowtime etc. Again, a HUGE thanks to all who donated!
Primary goal reached! We did it in just over 2 days - you all are great! I'm going to turn on the stretch goal, so we'll see how far it goes.
It looks like we might hit the goal sometime tonight - you guys are great! If we do then I'll turn on the stretch goal Thank you to all who donated!
As everybody knows, MTS is one of the largest and busiest Sims 2 and 3 fansites around, offering many thousands of high quality downloads, creation help, game discussion and more! Running a site this large takes a lot of stuff on the back end: 1 primary server, a backup server, and a metric boatload of bandwidth. Long term members of the site will recall that, occasionally, we do a donation drive just to make sure that we are covered in the event of any hardware or server problems, and in case of any other unexpected costs. Just as a side note - we last ran a donation drive in 2009!
This time, however, the primary goal for this donation drive is to upgrade the current primary server that MTS is hosted on. We are currently hosted on a dedicated server which is a 2.4ghz Nehalem Quad-Core E5620, running CentOS 5.7 with 24gb ram with an 80gb Intel 320 SSD, 1TB of SAS storage, and about 33TB of bandwidth a month. This server is now just over a year old and 2 generations old, and it's now time to upgrade.
We'll be moving to a 3.5ghz Ivy Bridge Quad-Core HT processor, running CentOS 6 with 32gb ram, dual 120gb Intel 520 SSDs in RAID 1, 1TB of SAS storage and dropping down to 20TB bandwith a month (on a 100mbit NIC). The primary advantage in this server is twofold - firstly, the better CPU architecture (vs the old one) and higher clock speed - coupled with the linux kernel improvements and upgrading to PHP5.4 - will hopefully speed up the PHP side of things, and, secondly, the dual SSDs in RAID 1 will hopefully massively increase the speed of the databases. Given that the new SSDs are 50% larger than the current ones, I can put more MySQL databases on those SSDs which can help to speed things up like the wiki.
The new server is actually slightly cheaper due to moving from a dual CPU configuration to a single one - I've been measuring the CPU performance of Maia (the primary server) and she usually runs at around 30% cpu load - most of which is used by mySQL, so I think we can drop from 16 cores to 8 running at a higher speed on a better architecture without losing any speed.
I'd like to try to rent the server for 6 months, but ideally for a year in advance (since you get more free months the more you buy). To that end I'm going to do a sort of Kickstarter - there is a primary goal (at the 6 months mark), but also a stretch goal, at the 12 months mark. If we meet the primary but not the secondary, I can use whatever is in between to purchase 3 month blocks instead.
Primary goal: $2,934 Stretch goal: $5,868
The graph at the top of the page will update in real time to reflect the number of donations, so you see how close we are to our goal. Note that people who have already donated won't see the banner message after the first 24 hours - during the first day though it'd shown to all.
Please try and give a little - even if it's not much! Every little bit helps, especially for a site this large.
Just as a couple side notes:
- If you do not have a Paypal account: You can still donate using a credit card through Paypal without linking your credit card or bank account to Paypal. It's quick and easy whether you currently use Paypal or not.
- If you prefer not to use Paypal whatsoever: If you prefer to contribute in another way, you can purchase items through our Amazon Store Link - just follow that link before making Amazon purchases (even if they're nothing sim related) to help out the site. It's a less direct way and gives a much smaller amount, but if you were already planning on placing an Amazon order, you can help us while buying books.
MTS is and always will be free to use - while donation can come with some minor perks, we're dedicated to keeping the site running smoothly for everyone. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has donated in the past, and also everybody who is willing to donate in this current drive. Your help is very much appreciated!
(If you donated and didn't get your heart please let me know in this thread or via PM - thanks!)
Wow, I do not understand the second, third and fourth paragraphs of that! But I will try to scrape up some money this time around! Thanks for keeping the tech up-to-date, D!
Edit: Money's tight, but I just got paid by one of my dog-walking clients. $5.20 of my paycheck (Canadian dollars, which stink right now unfortunately) is now gone to supporting the site I love so much!
Bam. I kept trying to work it into my budget but the conversion rate was so confusing. Gave circa US$8, not much, but heck I use the site like a maniac. Incidentally, thank you for providing a credit card option. Paypal has never cooperated with me, and last I investigated donating that was the only apparent option.
CAW Wiki - A wiki for CAW users. Feel free to edit.
I donated $15 :-) This site is wonderful, my days just wouldn't be the same without it! Seeing this donation drive stuff also reminded me that I'd cancelled my subscription a while back due to money worries and it was about time I subscribed again :-) So now I'm an Addict - which is completely true! :-D I see my icons are still being weird though....