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9-08-2009 @ 6:23AM
I would love to know what takes 8 hours each week to complete - I know that this Tuesday maintenance has been a feature of WoW forever, but has Blizzard ever said what exactly they are doing every Tuesday even when there are no patches/hot-fixes going on?At this point they could just be doing it because they can and an 8 hour gap in their server load, electricity load and network load saves them a nice little bundle every week (though most network billing is 95/5, so probably not a big deal there).
9-08-2009 @ 6:56AM
The servers come down for maintenance mostly so that they don't bring themselves down on their own. They have to do maintenance on the databases where things like our character data is stored. When they don't bring the servers down every week or two, the servers tend to crash and bring themselves down at more random times. Any time they do rolling restarts instead of maintenance two weeks in a row, bad things happen. Last time, I remember them doing rolling restarts two weeks in a row, we ended up with like multiple issues such as: getting actually stuck in instance loading screens to the point where you couldn't log in and a Game Master was the only person who could fix it (meaning you were out of being able to play for at least 8 hours that week anyway).
9-08-2009 @ 6:59AM
I'm thinking system maintenance, not necessarily related to the game itself but more to do with the hardware and the underlying operating systems. I did hear once that they use the time for database defrags, amongst other things.Whatever it is it won't be taking 8 hours - no advertised outage ever uses the full time window. The folk doing the work need to make sure that they have a period of time up their sleeves to roll-back any changes made, should whatever they've done breaks something important.Given the sheer volume of hardware that Blizzard use just for Warcraft, I think it would take more than a few minutes to shut it all down and then bring it all back up later. They wouldn't save 8 hours of utilities doing that :)
9-08-2009 @ 8:01AM
While I can accept that maintenances are required on a regular basis - weekly is excessive, and the lack of redundancy is disturbing. I've run large databases and other types of production hardware where we are simply not allowed to be down for more than a few minutes in a month, let alone 8 hours a week. The fact is that Blizzard are a billion dollar company - if they were selling something other than a game, let's say it was financial services for example, then their paying customers would not tolerate downtime of this magnitude. They make enough profit from the game and have been doing it long enough to be a lot better than they are - if they still actually need to take the servers down for 8 hours at a time, then they are doing something horribly wrong, plain and simple.
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