RPG Education Platform Status Update

We are still going through the recovery process for the RPG Education platform. Here is a status update for those students already in the system, and those waiting to become new students.

February 2018, we began having some technical glitches with the hosting provider, Godaddy, on their shared hosting. We were unable to update the platform software (Moodle), due to godaddy's MySQL instance being too old, and they did not have any upgrade path on their shared hosting.

March 2018, the paltform began having data and functioning issues due to being able to perform the updates and bug fixes on the godaddy shared hosting.

April 2018, Godaddy's shared hosting began having lsphp processes consuming all RAM resources (memory leaks). We made repeated calls to Godaddy, escalating through several support tiers. They were stumped about the issue. We created a workaround cronjob to periodically kill the runaway lsphp processes to try to limp along. We froze accepting new students while we tried to figure out what to do about these issues.

May 2018. Frustrated with Godaddy's shared hosting, and their inability to fix anything, they did suggest we try their Virtual Private Server (and they gave us a significant discount), since that would let us have complete control of the software rather than the limitations of the shared hosting where we couldn't control updates. Normally a VPS would be about 7 time more expensive, but we were able to get it prepaid for a couple of years for less per month than the shared hosting. We have since been working on setting up that server to try to take over for all of our websites (more than 200 domain, and about 40 different community sites).

June 2018, the entire RPG education directory was deleted on the shared hosting. Due to Godaddy admin error. They were unable to restore. Fortunately we do have our own backups. Another reason to use the VPS that we manage, rather than them.

July 2018, we began setting up test servers to try to restore data, and begin upgrading the old moodle content to the latest version. This has to be done in stages, from version to version, and cannot be jumped ahead without corruption.

August 17, 2018, we have a fresh instance of the older Moodle installed, and are trying to merge the content from the old Godaddy shared hosting Moodle instance, and import it into this new install. This is still at a home lab. We won't setup on the VPS until after we feel the data is safely upgraded, etc.

More updates as they become available. Thank you for your patience.

A little historical overview about RPG Education

  • 1970s RPG Education's founder began involvement with role-playing games, computer programming, DARPA/ARPA/Internet.1999-2001, RPG Education's Founder worked on Franklin Covey's online learning platform
  • 1983 RPG Education's founder began researching the effects of role-playing games
  • 1985 RPG Education's founder began teaching daily RPG courses in K-12 setting.
  • 1991 founder as a professional full-time photographer began also teaching photography
  • 1993 founder teaching guitar & bass to 30+ students
  • 1994 founder was certified instructor at Bryman Schools, & created instructor training course for what would become computer graphics degree/certification.
  • 1994 founder was 4x ASE certified and instructor at American Automotive Institute.
  • 1998 founder teaching information technology, information security, & computer science
  • 1999 founder involved with design, development, & implementation of Franklin Covey's online learning platform.
  • 2000 founder was Chief Technology Officer for ebooks and publishing company
  • 2001+, RPG education's founder experimenting with different opensource and in-house developed online learning platforms
  • 2002 founder published by SANS Institute
  • 2003 founder instructor at "The Computer Schools"
  • 2003 founder guest instructor and speaker at various technical colleges and universities on information security and open source.
  • 2004 founder began research, design, development, & implementation of therapeutic uses of role-playing games (Therapeutic Gaming aka Therapeutic RPG aka RPG Therapy).
  • 2005 founder resumed martial arts instruction courses
  • 2006 founder created multiple American Sign Language (ASL) study groups and online resources for Deaf & Hard of Hearing communities and ASL students.
  • January 2009 early prototypes of RPG Education's online learning platform begins
  • July 2012 beta version of online learning platform
  • November 2017 release candidate, limited public access to our online learning platform.
  • January 2018, limited paid public access made available to the online learning platform
  • February, 2018 - GoDaddy Hosting began having issues
  • March, 2018 - Unable to update classroom content due to Godaddy hosting issues
  • May, 2018 - site hard down/deleted due to mistake by Godaddy admins (fortunately we had backups, but unable to restore them on Godaddy's servers)
  • June 2018 - after months of going back and forth with Godaddy's support, admins, lack of updates, etc. on shared hosting, we arranged to setup a new Virtual Private Server (VPS) through them that we could admin ourselves.
  • July 2018 - after setting up the VPS core OS, begin moving over 200 domains and over 40 different sites from the shared hosting to the VPS.
  • August 2018 - downloaded backup files from education platform to local server (not VPS yet).
  • Status Update September 5th, 2018:
  • We have finished setting up a fresh new server in-house to import the backed up the education platform data files.
  • We are now trying to setup the education platform software and import the old data into the this staging server.
  • Next we will go through several upgrades of the database backend software version and the mid-logic application server versions until both up to the latest versions (this requires about 20 different stages of upgrades).
  • Then will be able to export the updated version to the VPS version and then we should (finally) have the RPG Education platform back online.
  • October 2018 Data recovered and working on test server using old version of platform software. Verify working as-is before performing upgrades and migration to production server.
  • November 2018 platform software upgraded on test server successfully. New production server built and platform software installed. Data migrated to production server. Server now undergoing data integrity and limited user testing to weed out any bugs in preparation for accepting new students and courses soon.

More status updates as the progress.

Thank you for your patience.

RPG.Education Administrator
RPG.Education Administrator says:
Nov 07, 2018 11:09 PM

FYI, those that were using the http://rpg.education/ online learning platform. I finally managed to get the backups working on the dev server last weekend. Today I finished upgrading the installation on the dev server. I am now setting up a new instance on the new production server. This will likely take another day or three to get up and running. If all goes well, by this weekend we should have the site working again for testing by existing students. I will hold off on taking on any new students until we're sure it is working for everyone already on it first. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this prolonged platform outage. Also, I will be resetting every paid student's timer to zero, so that you will have your full time to use it based on when it is back online, rather than all of the intervening down time. I will let you know when it is up and running for testing.