Brief scheduled maintenance for “mom” server (completed)

At 11:00 PM Pacific time tonight (January 26), the “mom” server will be restarted. As a result, Web sites and e-mail service for customers using that server will be unavailable for approximately five minutes.

Other servers will not be affected. And no e-mail will be lost, of course; incoming mail will just be delayed for a few minutes.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

For the technically inclined: This brief maintenance is necessary to install a Linux kernel update. We’re now using kernels that enable PAE features on our servers. Even though the servers have 4 GB of RAM and PAE historically didn’t seem necessary, we’ve seen situations where using PAE can potentially avoid memory fragmentation that hinders RAM-based file caching and slows down the server.

We’ve been using PAE-enabled kernels on some of our servers for a long time, but some other servers weren’t using it. Over the next week, we’ll be upgrading the ones that don’t yet use PAE; the “mom” server is just first because it’s the one that’s currently suffering the most from memory fragmentation.

Update: The maintenance was successfully completed with less than 3 minutes “downtime”.