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Filmtracks suffers 52-hour outage due to service provider error

Christian Clemmensen
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Christian Clemmensen
Filmtracks suffers 52-hour outage due to service provider error   Friday, August 30, 2019 (7:58 p.m.) 

Between August 28th and August 30th, Filmtracks experienced the longest downtime in its 23-year history. The 52-hour outage was caused by the site's service provider (server host), NTT Communications, which intentionally shut down the site due to the erroneous assumption that Filmtracks did not wish to continue utilizing the host's services.

NTT is forcing websites hosted on its legacy cloud-based servers to migrate to a newer range of cloud services, and I learned only today that Filmtracks is one of them. Unfortunately, NTT never contacted me by email, snail mail, phone, or administrative portal notice about this necessary migration ahead of the date at which NTT decided to suspend services for companies still existing on their older cloud. The poor folks in NTT's technical support crew had to break the news.

Having been hosted by NTT (or its partners or acquired companies) since 1995, Filmtracks is owed better service. Any hosting provider intending to suspend a company's website, data, or email should exercise due diligence in contacting that client by multiple means to alert it of the impending elimination of service. NTT did not take such actions; in fact, the account manager for my service has been on a multi-month maternity leave during this entire event. Furthermore, it took two days of my hassling of NTT's technical support to learn what happened.

What does this mean for Filmtracks from here? Now that NTT has restored access to the site after my complaints, it appears that everything on the current, legacy server is stable at the moment. I likely lost some incoming email. I will conduct manual backups and prepare to migrate to a new server over the next week. Whether I continue as an NTT client depends on that company's willingness to allow me the migration time I require and a sizable service discount for the downtime.

Please note that this downtime has nothing to do with slow load times of the site experienced by overseas visitors, especially those in Europe. That is a separate DNS-related issue that has been ongoing for months and is outside of my control while on my legacy server. There is a possibility that this issue will resolve after I migrate the site.

It should go without saying that there will be no new review coverage in the near future while these existential issues are sorted out. To say that 2019 has been frustrating for Filmtracks would be a massive understatement. That said, I do thank everyone for the continued support… even the indelible trolls!

Christian



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Christian Clemmensen
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  In Response to:
Christian Clemmensen
Filmtracks migration to new server complete   Sunday, September 29, 2019 (3:55 p.m.) 

After Filmtracks' longtime service provider, NTT Communications, erroneously shut down the site for 52 hours last month, I decided to move Filmtracks to a less expensive and more powerful solution at Amazon Web Services. This migration and subsequent stabilization process is complete.

You will notice faster load times and more reliable connections to the site from overseas. Please let me know (by email or on the Scoreboard) if you are still experiencing significant latency issues accessing any page at Filmtracks.

Also, I decided to shift Filmtracks to an SSL certificate during this transition so that all access to the site is secure. The last few weeks have been spent ensuring that all software and pages at the site with insecure content (mainly hard-coded images at the old, insecure URL) are re-coded to utilize secure connections.

Please note that there will remain some older, archived pages at Filmtracks with mixed secure and insecure content. These pages may cause your browser to display a security certificate error. (This is harmless.) All Scoreboard archives should be accessible without such issues, however.

As always, I appreciate the support from the readership and look forward to resuming coverage now that the server situation should be resolved for several years moving forward.

Thanks again,

Christian



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Copyright © 1998-2019, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Scoreboard created 7/24/98 and last updated 4/25/15.