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This maintenance is finished as of 01:29 UTC.

tl;dr

Planned service interruption that will impact all Stack Overflow & Stack Exchange sites, Jobs, and Chat. All sites may be read-only for up to 90 minutes beginning shortly after Friday, 18 March at 00:30 UTC (Thursday, March 17 at 8:30 PM EDT). Enterprise cloud hosted instances will not be impacted.

Short version:

There will be a service degradation for up to 90 minutes starting at 00:30 UTC on 18 March, 2022 (March 17 at 8:30 PM US Eastern Daylight Time). During that period, questions and answers will still display, and job listings and 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. Users will not be able to log into Stack Overflow for Teams (free/basic/business tiers) while the site is read only. This should minimize the disruption to the majority of casual readers. We will display a banner on the sites stating that they're read-only for maintenance.

Longer version of what's taking place:

Background

Our primary database servers – which power Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange, Chat, and other things – run out of New York (really New Jersey) with our secondary location in Colorado. When we need to perform maintenance on the primary servers, we need to failover to another server so we can patch, upgrade, and reboot them.

When we perform patching for our database servers, we generally patch secondary servers first, then fail over the primary server to a patched node, then patch the former primary (post-failover secondary).

For the time being, we place the site in read-only mode as part of this process, as we continue to work with Microsoft to troubleshoot a performance issue we have during failover. Taryn Pratt mentioned this in a comment back in July and, unfortunately, this is still the case.

What we'll be doing

During the service interruption, we'll be performing failovers from the primary database servers to the secondary servers in New York for the SQL Servers that support Stack Overflow, the Stack Exchange Network, jobs, and chat. This will allow us to patch the former primary SQL Server with the latest Windows & SQL Server patches.

We expect that the sites will be in a read-only state for 30 to 60 minutes, however we like to leave a little room. Once we've done the failover, and everything seems to be up and running, we'll take the sites out of read-only mode.

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.

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  • 17
    Off-topic: I totally missed you got hired. I'm excited you joined the team. Welcome!
    – rene
    Mar 7 at 12:53
  • 1
    Sorry, also off-topic, but on your profile page, one of the bullet points (the one below “🇨🇦”) just says “”. What is this intended to mean? This is Unicode character U+F8FF, i.e. private use, so it doesn’t have a predefined meaning. Mar 7 at 16:34
  • 4
    @SebastianSimon Just that I use a Mac.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Mar 7 at 16:45
  • 11
    @AaronBertrand Ah, Wikipedia and Google says it’s the Apple logo on iOS. I think non-iOS users don’t see an Apple logo, so it’s confusing. Mar 7 at 16:52
  • 6
    @SebastianSimon Didn't realize that because, well, I don't use Windows. :-) Fixed. Hopefully Windows doesn't change a football to a hammer or a race car.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Mar 7 at 16:55
  • 2
    @AaronBertrand Nah, these standard emojis are not in the Private Use Areas of Unicode. I use Arch btw. Mar 7 at 17:36
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1 Answer 1

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Fixed as of 11:50 UTC Friday March 18 2022.


Despite the maintenance being listed as finished in the question body and also in this tweet, Math.StackExchange is still in read-only mode:

enter image description here

(screenshot produced from the algebraic-geometry active tab, ~03:05 UTC Friday March 18 2022.) What's going on here?

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  • 7
    I posted this question because this answer doesn't seem to be drawing admin attention.
    – joriki
    Mar 18 at 7:39
  • 2
    I always thought read-only mode was all or nothing, at least for the sites that are on the same server. Strange it only impacts Mathematics.
    – rene
    Mar 18 at 7:42
  • 4
    @rene Yeah, I was thinking the same. The problem doesn't even affect Mathematics Meta. Mar 18 at 7:51
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    @41686d6564 oh, that is fun. Now we need to find a feature on their Meta that is supposed to update records on main and see if we can make it really go boom / cause major havoc. I mean: if we show up in the alert tool, I'm sure the on-call will check us out ...
    – rene
    Mar 18 at 7:55
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    We’re looking into this, I’m not sure how only one site could stay in read only either.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Mar 18 at 11:27
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    This is fixed, we'll post an answer on the math meta question when we determine how it happened.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Mar 18 at 11:50

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