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December 05, 2022, 01:50:50 PM

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[ONGOING] Continued LEX Issues and Periodic Outages

Started by Tarkus, November 20, 2022, 09:22:48 PM

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Tarkus

The LEX is presently back up, after it became necessary to take it down yesterday (November 19th) due to a RAM usage spike that locked up the server.  Note, however though we are still having to carefully monitor the server's utilization, as this has become a recurring issue.  The site may continue to be somewhat unreliable, and we may have to take the LEX offline again if the issue becomes severe enough again.

The issues are inherent to the LEX software, particularly related to its session handling, and this is something that especially flares up when a user opens up the Dependency Tracker, and also, occasionally with the search features.  Dependency Tracker calls on larger files, such as the LEX Superior Collections and the BSC Seaports, have been especially prone to this, and we've sadly had to either remove Dependency Tracker support on these files, or, in the case of the Superior Collections (since they're entirely Dependency Tracker-based), lock them entirely.

We are still evaluating possible solutions, but in the meanwhile, all we can do is advise patience when using SC4D and the LEX in their current configuration.

Thank you all for your continued support of SC4 Devotion and SC4 as a whole.

Alex (Tarkus)
SC4D Site Owner

Tarkus

LEX usage put the server's RAM utilization into the red again (98.5% utilization), so I've had to ice it once more.  It'll be down for probably the next 36 hours.

As I mentioned elsewhere recently, the current issues have no bearing on SC4D's long-term future.  Our hosting contract is paid through July 2025, and while the RAM usage issues with the LEX's software are severe enough to require it to be completely replaced, we have plans underway for its replacement.  Until that replacement is ready, however (and there is no ETA), these sorts of "rolling blackouts" are going to be an unfortunate reality for awhile, whether they be preemptive (as in this case), or because the LEX pegs the RAM usage to 100% and locks up the whole server.  Preemptively taking it down is preferred, as it still allows the rest of SC4D to remain accessible.

Some interim solutions are being discussed, but we'd like to avoid doing anything particularly involved on that end (i.e. a "temporary LEX") if at all possible.

Thank you all for your patience and continued support.

Alex (Tarkus)
SC4D Site Owner

Tarkus

LEX usage put the SC4D server over its maximum RAM allotment on December 2nd and 3rd, pushing it to 138% of total--the exchange did not go down due to our webhost throwing us a temporary lifeline out of the blue, but I have since had to put it through another outage cycle to cool the server's RAM usage.

Since many of the triggers of full crashes of the server have been from users attempting to utilize the LEX's Dependency Tracker tool (and this appears to have been implicated in the recent RAM spike), unfortunately, the Dependency Tracker has been disabled.  The Tracker is a feature of the LEX that has been a source of pride here at SC4D, and one we know that is well-appreciated amidst the minefield that building an SC4 plugins folder can be.  However, it is necessary to at least attempt operating the LEX without the regular service blackouts that have become commonplace of late.

Also note that many file description pages may presently show a "login" popup, even when already logged into the LEX.  You should not need to log in again.

Some key files, mostly modding tools, have been made available, registration-free, through our current forum-side downloads section, which can be found here [link].  Among them are SC4Mapper (which has been there for some time), SC4 Terraformer, SC4 PIM (AKA PIM-X), and JDatPacker.  We are, however, only providing high-priority items here, and we do not intend to turn this into a full-blown "temporary LEX", which would be a massive amount of effort for something that is intended to be very impermanent.

Thank you again for your continued patience and support while we navigate these issues with the site's exchange software.

Alex (Tarkus)
SC4D Site Owner