On Wednesday, June 21st, due to an error with our hosting account, all data we had with that specific host was removed from their system. This was done by accident by the team handling our account, and we were left with no recourse but to rebuild the forums from the ground up.
Where are all my posts?
We lost nearly all the data we had hosted with the provider we were using, which includes posts. Unfortunately, all post history has been destroyed.
Is EVERYTHING gone?
Here's what we lost:
- Uploaded images
- Site modifications and plugins
- All posts and replies
- All private messages and replies
- All group memberships, including Beta Testers
- All badges/custom labels (Contest winner, staff, moderators, etc.)
Here's what we did not lose:
- User accounts: we use your Topaz Labs account (www.topazlabs.com/my-account) information to log you in. These were not lost due to the way your accounts are setup with the forums. You will need to login again, but you will be treated as a new user would be.
- Site theme
- List of 200 most active beta testers. If you have been helping us with beta testing lately, we'll make sure you are added to the group. We will be rebuilding the group over the next couple of weeks as we work to restore normal functionality to the forums.
Well... I hate to say this, but we're going to have to start most of these conversations over. Prior to this unforeseen failure on our host's end, we had plans to implement a backup system outside of their services (in case something like this happened). Unfortunately, this failure occurred before we could achieve that goal, so most of our files were not backed up anywhere but the host's location. This was short sighted on our end, because we cannot possibly anticipate everything that might go wrong, up to and including the hosting provider flat out removing our data completely. We'll be working to restore everything as quickly as possible.
Is/was this preventable?
Yes, it is preventable. We have been forced by this unfortunate event to accelerate our efforts to put measures in place to prevent this from happening again. Also, we have dropped the hosting provider for their enormous misstep, and will be hosting the forums on our Amazon AWS account going forward, which we have much more control over. We are implementing a multi-layered backup system that should ensure the ability to bounce back from a complete data loss like this, should it happen again in the future.
A feature/item I'm used to seeing is missing!
Given the element of immediacy this failure has attached to it, we focused entirely on restoring the functionality and experience of the forums as they were. This means that several things are not yet implemented:
- Voting plugin
- Accept Post as Solution plugin
- Translation plugin
- Post Signatures plugin
- Formatting toolbar plugin (colors, etc)
We're aware the forum is not 100% back to full functionality, but we had to wait on these so we could get things up and running again. We'll be adding them back over the coming weeks, so please be patient.
As a result of hosting the forums in a location we have more control over, we were able to make a few more changes that we weren't able to with the previous forums.
New Image Upload Maximum
Images can now be uploaded as large as 6MB