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Upcoming ToastStunt Migration
Info on the migration process

Hey folx,

We've been talking about ToastStunt for several years now. It's a branch of Stunt, which itself is a rewrite/port of LambdaMOO to C++. It solves a bunch of problems for us, including the pending doom of running out of 32bit integers (still a ways off). It also has a bunch of improvements, additional builtin functions such as SQL integrations, https, curl, and maybe other things that make life better.

The caveat is that ToastStunt makes non reversible and non backwards compatible changes to our database. That means once we switch to it, we are pretty much on it forever. That's OK, because we've spent the last several years evaluating it. Our Dev Server (Boa) where we had rampage, has been running it the past year, proving that it is stable. We've worked out a number of kinks on Boa and during Rampage (thanks everyone for the help!).

Our current migration plan is still somewhat up in the air timeline wise but here are the general next steps:

1. hold another rampage

2. while doing the rampage, take the main MOO down temporarily and replace with toaststunt, so we can test our integrations (Slack, Jira, Grid, etc).

3. Bring main MOO back up on Production running LambdaMOO

4. post rampage, make a determination if we want to move forward

5. set a date (probably late December)

6. cut over production to ToastStunt

7. 2 week evaluation period -- rollback if we encounter big issues

The 2 week evaluation period will be where we really see if ToastStunt is ready for us long term. Rampage is great for proving the server can handle the load, but there are plenty of non-combat things that never happen during Rampage so we still expect to need to fix things during this period of time.

If we encounter big issues, we're going to turn off ToastStunt and go back to LambdaMOO. This means that if the 2 week evaluation period doesn't work out, we will be throwing away the RP that happened during that period of time, the same way we would if the server crashed. This probably sounds harsh and sucky and that's because it is, but because of the databases being incompatible, there isn't much we can do. We have evaluated as much as we can at this point (or we will have after the next Rampage). We're feeling pretty confident, but we also want to be clear about what our backup plan is.

If we rollback, none of the RP or accounts that were created on the MOO during that time will continue to exist. They'll have to be re-registered.

Once we have a date, we are asking that you plan around this 2 week period by not executing any major plots (perming someone, etc) that you aren't comfortable possibly being rolled back. That's right-- if someone is permed during this 2 weeks AND we rollback, they won't be permed anymore. It's happened before. If someone bombs a job interview and we rollback, they'll have a second chance. Please plan around this when we announce the date! Also, please don't plan to go crazy and do a bunch of unrealistic shit because we might roll back. Chances are good that we'll not be rolling back.

TLDR: During the 2 week period we are evaluating ToastStunt you should:

1. plan to avoid big plots coming to a head if you can help it

2. remember that this RP could need to be redone if we have to roll back

3. avoid perming people you aren't cool with coming back if we roll back

4. RP your character as you normally would -- this isn't a rampage.

I'm sure there will be a few questions. I'm happy to answer them. Let me preface it by saying the staff discussed a bunch of different ways we could approach this and we landed on this as the most clear, easiest to execute, and lowest impact on the coders, who will be focused on fixing any issues that come up as close to real time as possible.

That being said, if you have questions I'll be happy to answer them.

Do we have a date in mind for the next Rampage, any specific things that need player testing during it, and how long it will last? If the timeframe stated here still stands, I assume it will be relatively soon, as the cut to Toast is slated for late December.
THIS IS HAPPENING!

December 31st, 2021. Please review the original post in this thread. Avoid scheduling SUPER IMPORTANT RP for 2 weeks after the migration in case we need to role back. We hope we won't but consider this fair warning that if you plan to perm someone / terribly betray someone / do something insane and awesome, you may not want to do it right after we have migrated, just in case the migration doesn't work.

THINGS HAVE CHANGED

It's the holidays so because of time crunch (and because I'm antsy and trying to keep us on target), our plan of record has changed slightly to adapt to holiday schedules.

This weekend, the weekend of the 18th of December, we will (if staff resources allow) run a rampage on our development server (Boa) with toaststunt.

Regardless if that happens, this is our plan for the 31st:

1. On the 31st of December, 2021, Sindome will be going down for extended maintenance for the first time in a long, long time. You can expect that no one will be able to connect for a period not extending longer than two hours.

During this time we will be testing our integrations and doing upgrades.

If for some reason this fails, we will revert to LambdaMOO and nothing will have changed or been lost.

2. Assuming #1 is successful, the game will be operational and back live running ToastStunt. We will open logins and make an announcement that maintenance is over.

3. For two weeks we will be closely monitoring toaststunt's progress on production. Expect that there WILL BE UNFORESEEN ISSUES. We have done extensive testing and think things will go smoothly thanks to your efforts during the last rampage, but always expect the unexpected. We will resolve these issues as they come up.

If for some reason an issue comes up that we can't fix, which is very unlikely, we will cut back to our last LambdaMoo save which will mean a lost of all progress since the 31st, our last backup.

There will be no rampage running on the 31st.

Will the rampage be running all weekend, or only on the 18th? I missed the last one and am hoping to make this one, but juggling RL plans currently.
It will run Saturday and possibly into Sunday unless we encounter issues.
Looking forward to all of this, great job everyone and looking forward to many years here!
Rampage Has Begun. http://boa.sindome.org/ connect manually using the button.
I'm shutting the Rampage down. Thanks for everyone that helped us test. We are looking to be in good shape. I hope everyone had fun!
REMINDER! THIS IS HAPPENING TOMORROW!
Woo!
Is the second Toast rampage still happening?

If so, do we have a date for that?

That already happened.
We are planning to cut over to Toast at midnight EASTERN time. So not dome time. Cause Mirage and I are on the east coast. So be aware, that's 9pm tonight, DST.
Thank you all for scheduling this around the holiday. I recognize there are alternatives to Sindome this weekend. :-)
Looking forward to it!

Also quick question feel free to ignore this as I can understand it.

Will there be performance.. Um whatchamacall it, improvements?

More fluid is the word I think I'm looking for?

Once we cut to ToastStunt, do we just login through the webclient as normal?
There should be no difference in how you connect.

There should be performance improvements, though those enhancements will come over time as we activate some of the new features.

AND WE ARE ONLINE!

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO CONNECT BECAUSE IT SAYS YOUR CHARACTER DOESN'T EXIST IT'S BECAUSE YOUR PASSWORD NEEDS TO BE RESET. OR, YOU CAN CONNECT WITH THE FIRST 8 CHARACTERS OF YOUR PASSWORD. PREVIOUSLY WE ONLY DID 8 CHARACTERS AND WE IGNORED THE REST BUT TOAST DOES NOT DO THAT!

To be clear, this was a limitation of unix crypt() functions, and not our choice. 1990 called and they want their cryptographic algorithm back.

(Edited by Slither at 9:52 pm on 12/30/2021)

It's been almost a week since we did our cutover. We've been pretty healthy, though we are seeing our ram usage creeping up slowly over time and we're monitoring that. Could be a memory leak, could be something else and it just evens out. Feeling fairly good about the migration, but we aren't out of the woods yet. We'll keep everyone updated as time goes on.
How is the health of ToastStunt now that we are nearing the two week period? I am looking forward to plotting hard on a few things.

Thanks!

We are looking pretty stable, and we currently have no plans to revert back to LambdaMOO from ToastStunt.
That's super kool. Thanks, Slither.

Appreciate all the work that you and the rest of the team consistently put into Sindome.

I know we're not supposed to +1... but really, thank you. Love all the work and effort. It's a labor of love and it shows.
Hello folx.

State of the game: Memory allocations have continued to rise on the server every day. This remains of some concern, but the rise slow enough we believe the most likely outcome is it will eventually reach a ceiling and become stable.

The worst case scenario is that there is a memory leak in Toast, but we've measured the risks and decided that this will not be a blocker to our migration, and was the last concern we have. We and the dev team firmly believe if in the worst case scenario that we can mitigate or fix the risk brought on by this possible issue, which itself benefits all MOOs.

As such, from this point on it is safe to say we will not be returning to LambdaMOO, and it is now safe to do long term roleplay commitments.

Edit by Slither: fixed wording to avoid confusion

(Edited by Slither at 10:07 am on 1/15/2022)