A short bulletin to fill you in with some details following the server move.

We switched on a new server a week ago and are now running on a very recent version of Mysql (8.0.26) and the latest version of PHP (8.1.3). There were a few rough spots where some incompatibilities arose but they were fixed as they were spotted.

From a technical point of view, this is very exciting, as the Percona distribution we now use is much more robust that the very old MariaDB version we were using, and the latest version of PHP tidies up a lot of the worst sins of old PHP. We will be continuing to improve our Gazelle fork with the new features that PHP 8 offers.

Nonetheless, the situation leaves much to be desired. You may have encountered difficulties over the past week when accessing the site. It looks like we rented a lemon. It has spontaneously rebooted three four times, with very few messages to explain what the problem is. The few messages that do get logged (and the fact that the kernel has no time to log anything) leads sheepish and I to conclude that there is a bad harware problem, probably in one of the CPU cores.

When the server reboots, it does not come back into service automatically, as one of us has to log into the server to decrypt the disk in order for the boot to continue. Which means the site can be unreachable for several hours until such time as an admin can log in. Still, we would rather have an encrypted disk and protect the data on it more than anything else.

We are in discussions with the host to and we will switch over to a new ssserver when we are able to. It could be a couple of weeks though. In the meantime, your patience is much appreciated.