A Note On The Recent Lightning Bug Plugin Outage

Hi everyone, we wanted to give you an update on the recent outage Lightning Bug experienced.

Around the 9th of June some users began to notice that Lightning Bug was no longer able to download plugin content. Many of you emailed us about the issue and we quickly verified that, in fact, the server we used to host Lightning Bug’s plugin content was no longer online.

This began a long series of back and forth phone calls with out hosting provider. We wish we could say that our provider handled our server issue diligently. Unfortunately, we were repeatedly kept in the dark and even mislead as to the status of the plugin server. On the 12th, after 3 days of getting nowhere with our provider, we decided to setup a temporary server to host the plugin content until our issues were resolved. Late that night the temporary server went online and over the following 12 hours users were gradually able to access plugins again.

A day or so later our hosting provider finally got our server back online, however our server’s ‘image’ was corrupted to the point that it was no longer usable and would require a complete re-installation and re-configuration (at least another day or so of work on our end).

So, we decided to move Lightning Bug’s content to a new host that specializes in delivering the kind of content that Lightning Bug requires. This past Sunday night we cut-over to this new host. During the cut-over its possible some of you experienced a brief interruption in access to plugins, however it looks like everything has otherwise gone really well. The new host is a well-known, industry leading provider and we’re really excited to aquire their services.

As for our previous hosting provider, we thought a lot about whether or not to name them in this post. However, decided not to for a few reasons. First, it would not do much good outside some temporary venting. We think we’re all better off moving on and leaving this incident behind us minus the negative baggage. Second, we personally feel that it’s our responsibility, not our provider’s, to make sure our products work and that our users have a great experience. In this case, we should have had a backup server ready for a situation such as this and didn’t. That said, we now have a backup server in place and will always include redundancy in our plans going forward.*

Things are looking really good now, the new provider is humming, and we’re really excited about the new features coming in Lightning Bug 3.0!

So thanks so much for all your support and patience!

Chris


*There would, of course, be one benefit to naming our previous provider. That is, warning the developer and business communities about a provider that doesn’t really ‘provide’. To that end, feel free to email our support address and we’ll be happy to provide you with more details about our previous provider including their name and what services we were using.

One thought on “A Note On The Recent Lightning Bug Plugin Outage

  1. Hey Chris,
    That’s a truly professional and mature outlook on the whole thing. Hosting is such a complex affair, especially with a product which is only gaining in popularity and steadily challenging the infrastructure / plan.

    I had to move from a shared hosting service (many reputable providers began to have issues with their service hosting my content insofar as CPU/memory overhead), I moved to a virtual private hosting platform where I had root level access ( linode.com) .. while I pay more, it’s definitely reasonable for the privileges I get (I can spin as many CPU cycles I want, and not panic about memory usage), and many times cheaper than dedicated (and even scaling cloud) solutions.

    I’m curious about which platform you moved from, and where you guys are now.
    Also curiosity provokes me to ask, if the company ever decided to shift gears to discontinue the lightning plugins, would there be an opportunity for users to have a localhost version (or do licensing and other copyright issues prohibit that the loops be served to your customers)?

    Kindest regards from the ever inquisitive,
    Faisal

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