tl;dr; Planned service interruption that will impact all Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange sites. All sites will be read-only for up to an hour on July 14, 2018. Enterprise cloud hosted instances will not be impacted.

Short Version:

There will be a service degradation for up to an hour at 13:00 UTC (9AM US/Eastern) on July 14th, 2018. During that time questions and answers will still display, job listings will still work, and job ads will still display. However, the site will be "read only," i.e. people won’t be able to add/edit new job listings, apply for jobs, post, edit or vote on questions/comments/answers, reputation won’t change, etc. This should minimize the disruption to the majority of casual readers. We will display a banner on the sites stating we’re ‘read only’ for maintenance.

Longer Version of What’s Taking Place?


We have two datacenters, with our main datacenter in New York (actually New Jersey) and the secondary in Colorado. When we need to perform maintenance on the database servers that power Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange, Chat, and other things, we need to failover to another location - either a local secondary (i.e. one in NY) or a remote secondary (i.e. in CO). The failover allows us to patch the server, and reboot them.

What we’ll be doing

During the service interruption, the servers will be getting the latest patch for SQL Server, as well as Windows updates. In order for us to do the work, we’ll do a failover from the primary location to a secondary, then apply the SQL patch and then Windows Updates; once done the server will be rebooted. By putting the sites in a read-only state, we reduce the chance of data loss and the entire process becomes safer.

We expect that the site will be in a read-only state for less than an hour. Once we’ve done the failover, and everything seems to be up and running, we’ll take the sites out of read-only.

Questions or concerns?

Please post a comment or answer below; I’ll do my best to address any concerns between now and the maintenance window.

  • 61
    u guys run windows? – user393619 Jul 9 '18 at 19:15
  • 1
    Two questions: Is chat affected or will it only blip like last time? Can we watch the team again in a live stream? – rene Jul 9 '18 at 19:16
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    @rene The hope is that chat will just blip like last time and no live stream this time round. – Taryn Jul 9 '18 at 19:18
  • 26
    @jraspiprojects Yes, we run Windows. – Taryn Jul 9 '18 at 19:18
  • 34
    Really, Windows? – user393619 Jul 9 '18 at 19:23
  • 25
    @jraspiprojects they are on a full Microsoft stack since the start: see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10369/… – rene Jul 9 '18 at 19:30
  • 54
    @jraspiprojects Yes, Windows, you know, the platform that provides industry-leading enterprise support and feature sets, among many other things. – TylerH Jul 9 '18 at 19:31
  • 5
    Can you guys run the livestream please! – bret7600 Jul 9 '18 at 19:38
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    @bret7600 At this point, we don't have plans to livestream because this isn't a huge upgrade, it should be a straight forward failover and then patching. – Taryn Jul 9 '18 at 19:39
  • 5
    ok. was worth asking... – bret7600 Jul 9 '18 at 19:42
  • 2
    "New York (actually New Jersey) and the secondary in Colorado" aww... no Oregon (actually Colorado)? – Braiam Jul 9 '18 at 19:59
  • 1
    @Braiam Oregon has been gone for a while now :( – Taryn Jul 9 '18 at 20:00
  • 1
    I know. I was hoping that you kept the OR for the data center designation. – Braiam Jul 9 '18 at 20:14
  • 4
    Can we extend bounties an hour? To make up for the time – JBis Jul 9 '18 at 20:30
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    @JBis No, we don't have a way to do that. Bounties are up for a week + 24 hours of a grace period. An hour shouldn't affect anything in an appreciable way. – Adam Lear Jul 9 '18 at 20:32

Make sure you double-check that you've brought a charge-only USB cable

You know, in case you feel like doing this again:

(More background.)

Though heck, I imagine you do all of this remotely?

  • 2
    Considering it's just patching, we'll be doing everything remotely, but this is a good reminder for the future. – Taryn Jul 9 '18 at 22:19
  • 41
    Technically speaking, a charge only usb cable is not a usb cable. The USB standard specifies both power and data. If you have only power its not usb. </pedantic> – David says Reinstate Monica Jul 10 '18 at 5:34
  • 21
    @David USB port-compatible charge-conveying dual-sided connecting device – user206222 Jul 10 '18 at 16:32
  • 11
    Will still take three attempts to plug it in :) – Kev Jul 13 '18 at 6:03

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