I do feel it worth acknowledging the work of the A&A ops team, and especially Jimi and Brucey, for the upgrade today. They are not alone and we have all been involved in the planning for this. Even those not in the ops team have helped out and tested things, and thanks to customers to ongoing feedback.

We have a core server which has logically been the main database and control pages for everything we do for nearly 20 years. It has had many upgrades, but has got to the stage that we really need to do something new and a big upgrade.

A lot of functions are already moved to new servers, with extra redundancy. The database server moved to a cluster of sql servers. Lots of internal VLANs and VPNs. lots of backup servers. And much more we can now move and diversify.

But today was the big upgrade of "clueless".

It is interesting to think how "clueless" has changed over the years - at the start it was very much "the" key database server albeit only for our dialup services and even then accounts were very much separate. Now it covers many more services but is far less critical being mainly a front end for staff and customer use. Even so, it is an important server.

For those that do not know, this is the origin of "clueless" is a cartoon from June 2000.

It is that old in origin. Yes, we have a "pointy" as a test platform for clueless...

The changes are supposed to be simple, but the upgrade is operating system, and apache, and mysql, and, well everything. Apache config has changed enough that despite of a lot of planning and testing it has taken hours of work today to get it right. Scary how many things run on clueless, at least for now.

But all tools and scripts, and there are a lot, needed rebuilding and testing and fixing,

There will be some things not fixed until tomorrow, but the basics are all working and the important things were sorted first. Well done all.


  1. Well, as a user seems nothing much has changed - so good news there I guess :)

    I've got to say, while superbly functional, it is looking pretty dated now, a facelift is long overdue.

  2. HTTP redirect to HTTPS on http://clueless.aa.net.uk doesn't seem to work anymore.

    1. You should be using control.aa.net.uk

    2. On a similar note could speedtest2.aa.net.uk be https enabled please!

  3. The control panel pages feel quite a bit faster.

  4. Have you considered going down the virtualisation route to make hardware upgrades (or dual running new/old code and/or hot-spare) easier in the future? I'm really interested in opinion either way for such an important system?

    1. We have done that. We also have a dev system. This has allowed most of the work to be done in advance and tested. It was mostly silly things like apache config just not playing ball that took the time. That said. We expected to take all day.


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