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CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Chris
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CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

The following has just been posted to Service Status.
Quote
This is an update to the previously posted emergency maintenance on the CGI platform.
SSH and telnet access are remaining disabled on the platform whilst we look into the issues identified recently. Investigation of a fix for this has suggested that the best course of action is to upgrade the CGI platform as a whole.
As part of the platform upgrade we will include an update to Apache 2 and PHP5 along with upgrading Perl and it's modules.
Due to this upgrade some customers may find that certain scripts on their websites no longer function correctly. Most customers who use packages such as blogging software or forum systems should find these to continue to work correctly.
For those who do use custom scripts you can find a good article on the differences between PHP4 and PHP5 at the link below, this will also give you advice of any code that may need changing.
http://php.net/manual/en/migration5.incompatible.php
During the upgrade we are looking into having PHP4 and PHP5 running side by side for a short period to alleviate some of the problems which may occur.
We're looking to perform the first backend stages of the upgrade within the next few days. We'll advise you of any further timescales once they are available.
Once we have any further updates on this platform or more details of the upgrades we will post a service status update.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
Kind Regards,
Chris Parr
Customer Support

Former Plusnet Staff member. Posts after 31st Jan 2020 are not on behalf of Plusnet.
59 REPLIES 59
Tony_W
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

This is quite worrying as I am going away on Thursday for 5 days, and will therefore not be able to access the ccgi server should the change break my PHP code.
Although Ithere are only minor coding differences between PHP4 and PHP5, the difficulties with the previous PAYH 'moves' were numerous due to permission changes and file 'includes' from 'off-site' e.g. Homepages.
Can we assume that the permissions and the settings (as given in the phpinfo() function) will remain the same as currently enjoyed, or are going to struggle again?
Tony
jelv
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

This frightens me!
If the upgrade to PHP 5 etc. is straight forward enough that it can be planned in such a short time, why the refusal to upgrade over the last couple of years when it was pointed out that PHP 4 was coming to the end of it's life; why the experiment with the PAYH trial?
This smacks of being bounced in to some pretty desperate drastic because of a major security breach which led to cshell being closed. The chances of this ending in tears must be pretty high!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Spider
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Does this mean that the death sentence for CGI as now been completely lifted?
James
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

John - We had a number of options but felt that this would be met in the best light.
We thought that you more than others would be overjoyed!  I'm not an expert, but from what I've been told, an upgrade from PHP4 to PHP5 should cause minimal disruption for the majority of websites.
I don't know the answer to the permissions questions, but I'll find out tomorrow.
xpcomputers
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Also, does this mean that the plan is to restore Shell access to the ccgi servers as soon as php4 is disabled?
jelv
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Quote from: Jameseh
We thought that you more than others would be overjoyed!

I am pleased that CCGI isn't going to be turned off, I'm just very, very concerned that it's being done at such sort notice. If it's so easy why wasn't it done a year ago?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Penny
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Quote from: Chris
The following has just been posted to Service Status.
Quote
SSH and telnet access are remaining disabled on the platform whilst we look into the issues identified recently. Investigation of a fix for this has suggested that the best course of action is to upgrade the CGI platform as a whole.
As part of the platform upgrade we will include an update to Apache 2 and PHP5 along with upgrading Perl and it's modules.


Slightly mixed feelings at the news, though the prospect of an upgraded ccgi platform sounds wonderful.  Having to deal with that "straight away" is a bit daunting, from a user-perspective, but being entirely honest the long timeframe before the move to the present server, some years back, didn't actually mean I'd prepared very much by the time it happened ^^
This time, the interim trials on PAYH have been very constructive.  Disregarding the very many hours it took me to find my way around the PAYH site (you simply would not *believe* how complex I found the set-up there) it was somewhat reassuring to discover that existing scripts could be made to work on php5, which had been my major (huge) concern.  Where there were aspects I simply couldn't fathom, David (spraxyt) from PUG was kind enough to check out the php5 factors for scripts used for HappyChild and reassure me that any compatibility issues would be relatively minor.
Because so many people involved with PUG or the Comm Site know what they're talking about (technically), I don't see other PN/F9 customers having problems with php5 that can't be resolved.  Yes it might not be "instant", but hopefully days rather than weeks, because there's a great deal of helpful info that's been gained during the PAYH testing, even if only as regards the php5 factor.
The recent "shell" problems have had a real silver lining for me in that I don't have to use telnet any more - see post here - and I have to say that personally I'm delighted the ccgi platform is to be upgraded.  The present set-up is easy to use, as is the mysql there, so I assume the new set-up will be broadly similar.  Meanwhile the thought of never having to use PAYH again has entirely brightened my day Cheesy
I don't see that this has been an overly-swift decision - this has all been under discussion for a couple of years now, so it's not like the options haven't been fully evaluated to the nth degree.  And given the often-negative comments about PAYH, I have to admit to surprise that people wouldn't be unreservedly delighted that it's been confirmed the ccgi platform is not only to be retained but also upgraded.  Best of all worlds, from my point of view.  Admittedly it's a decision that probably wouldn't have happened quite "yet" without the "shell access" problems, but so what?  It's "sorted", now, which means we all know where we stand.
... and yes I'm a little apprehensive about the mechanics of the transfer, and the potential need to resolve any problems that arise - but confident there's enough support here (both within the Comm Site and PUG and the guys at F9/PN) for ways to be found through any issues [experienced by me or by anybody else]. Significantly more confident than I would have been about a permanent transfer of everything to PAYH, being entirely truthful.
So, well happy at the news (if mentally noting the likely loss of all free time for the next couple of weeks).  But I'll be very glad when this one is finally done and dusted.
Regards,
Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Gabe
Community Veteran
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Quote from: Jameseh
We had a number of options but felt that this would be met in the best light.

I think this is a first rate response to the problem. Plusnet have bitten the bullet and it's to their credit.
Gabe
donne
Grafter
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Registered: ‎15-08-2007

Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Well, where do I go from here?  When I enquired about PHP5 on CCGI just over 6 months ago I was told to sign up for the free PAYH trial, which I duly did.  Now we are told that the CGI platform is going to be upgraded to PHP5.  Is there any stability or long-term planning in this at all?  I find the present situation confusing to say the least and I really don't know where to concentrate my efforts.
Mike_Grice
Grafter
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

While I can't speak for the product guys or management here, the feel from the networks team is that the CCGI platform is very hard to maintain and until this work which has been driven by external factors, very out of date which compounds the problem.
There are a number of options being investigated -  personally I'd rather see us resolve any PAYH issues and move in that direction than maintain two similar platforms - PAYH from our perspective is more maintainable and easy to keep current.
(to be honest, I'm a rose-tinted fan of the CCGI platform having lived with it since 2001, but increasingly as a dept. we are having to think more in terms of long-term maintainability, keeping things current and reliable).
M
tex
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Quote from: Jameseh
We thought that you more than others would be overjoyed!
I would be overjoyed if shell access was restored, there has been enough time and awareness for people to update their code from php4 to 5.
jelv
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

The service status posted at the top of this topic sort of implied that things would be moving along fairly quickly.
Quote
We're looking to perform the first backend stages of the upgrade within the next few days. We'll advise you of any further timescales once they are available.
Once we have any further updates on this platform or more details of the upgrades we will post a service status update.

Have the first backend stages been completed or (as I guess a few of us suspected) it's going to be quite a while before the work is completed and the cshell access restored? (My feeling is that we will be fortunate if this completed this side of Christmas given the tone of Gricey's post which says the options are still being investigated)
I think an update with realistic timescales is overdue.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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bobpullen
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

jelv, we're hoping to have something to play with next week. Once we're happy with the new build we can unleash it on the masses.
The thinking at the moment is that we do something similar to what we did last time. For those that can't remember that far back this involved having a second hostname for the new platform that we ran in tangent alongside the old offering. We then allowed a certain period of time for customers to move their content across before flipping DNS.
Everything will be communicated via email so should be a lot clearer nearer the time.
We appreciate everybody's patience as we're only too aware of the short notice we've had to give this time round.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

MauriceC
Superuser
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Re: CCGI Platform Maintenance - UPDATE

Quote
...............we ran in tangent alongside the old offering......

I hope this was a slip in typing Bob and that you really meant ...in tandem... Grin
We really don't need things going off at a tangent at the mo?