Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

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Andy
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Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Andy »

Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

This whole post comes about thanks to a very special member of the forum, whom without this would not have been possible.

“Viper”, a long-standing member from all the way back in 2008, just a few years after we first opened our doors, has taken it upon himself to single handedly secure the near future BetaArchive repository by donating to us £1,000.

This is a huge sum of money for which we are immensely grateful. It has helped us to secure the future of BetaArchive’s repository in the way of storage. We have struggled to fund buying new hard drives for BetaArchive because of how large we have grown and how expensive large drives are. Not only this, but managing such a large amount of data has become a dangerous affair because it is a lot of data to lose should anything go wrong.

Thanks to this donation (and the luck of receiving it on Amazon Prime day), we have secured 60TB of additional disk space which will go towards upgrading our production drives. Given how good of a deal this Amazon Prime Day deal was, mrpijey was unable to pass up the deal has also invested significant money of his own money (putting him close to a state of bankruptcy :mrgreen: ) to secure an additional 60TB of disk space.

This gives us a total of 120TB of additional disk space dedicated to BetaArchive’s repository.

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What does this mean for BetaArchive’s future?

If used together, 120TB of physical disks gives us the potential to store 405TB of deduplicated data if we maintain the same ratio we have now (3.38).

However, it will be split between production and 2 backups, therefore giving us 135TB of archive space to work with compared to the current 108TB.

The old disks will be repurposed for releases that are being processed and stored ready for release, as well as upgrades to other parts of the infrastructure.

Whilst it doesn’t sound like a huge upgrade when we split it up like this, it dramatically improves our daily workflow. mrpijey was having to juggle data between a total of 1TB of remaining disk space between the drives, and because of this, adding new releases was becoming difficult because deduplication has to occur after the data is written to the drive. With more free space now available it will be a lot easier balancing the data, and with the added physical storage, deduplication rates will improve.

In addition to this we’re also considering building an array out of the disks which will not only improve the overall deduplication rate by performing it across all data rather than just data on each disk, but also adds in hardware redundancy in the form of parity. We will be using ReFS instead of NTFS to protect the data against bit rot and to further improve performance. We will test the feasibility of this first before making a final decision. We have had some disasters when working with RAID5/6 arrays in the past but with much improved hardware and software we’re once again evaluating the storage solution.

We will continue to use Windows as our primary operating system as it has proven to be reliable and give us the flexibility and options we require.



Server Upgrade
In addition to upgrading BetaArchive’s storage, we also want to upgrade our web server. The current server is not struggling, but it is beginning to run out of disk space and this will become a problem with our future plans (more on those later).

For a little more monthly cost (€10 more) we can upgrade the server with double the memory (32GB to 64GB) and double the disk space (1TB to 2TB) as well as move from SATA SSDs to NVMe drives. The processor will also go from an i7-7700 to an i7-8700 giving 50% more performance.

We’re hoping to have this purchased by the end of the month and up and running inside of a week. We’ll keep you up to date on this one as it happens.



Site Updates
Where to begin… We have a number of plans which we hope to see progress with before the end of this year, but you know us, our time estimates are as good as a plumbers estimate…

Database
We plan to add additional data including (but not limited to):
- Artwork
- Disc and track metadata such as hashes, ring code IDs, application IDs etc.
- Tighter integration with other preservation communities and resources (for hash comparison etc.)
- Regional and language info

This is all still in development so the feature list is subject to change during development. You will of course get access to beta features as they’re built and tested.

Website
As part of plans to bring the site more generally up to date we will introduce more information pages to the site.

To make it easier to build and edit pages we’ll build it using a CMS. The kind of information we will include to begin with are fully documented step-by-step guides on how to make software dumps. The guides on the forum will be removed in favour of these new pages.

We also plan to write some basic guides on how to get started with collecting, installing operating systems by explaining how to use virtual machine software, and more.

We also want to make an editorial section of the site where we can post news and updates related to the site and software, but this will come after the above changes.



A Final Thank You
BetaArchive continue to operate as a non-profit website because we don’t feel it would be fair (or legal) to charge for access to software created by others, so we will always rely on your donations to keep us online. We won’t be able to sustain growth of the site otherwise, so we do need your continued help.

Once again we would like to thank Viper for his generous donation which has made all of this possible. But we would also like to thank every single one of you that has donated to BetaArchive since we opened, either through monetary donations or software. Without you we would not be where we are today.

Sincerely,

Andy, mrpijey, and all BA Staff

Sim31
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Sim31 »

This is so awesome! Thanks to you all for these awesome donations and for more space! You all are the best! =)

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by BF10 »

I would like to thank Viper for giving more available space for the server. I also like that we are going to see some Database updates coming in, with many of the new features listed being requested by many users including me. Alongside, it would be nice to have a picture guides for many aspects, such as installing OSes, dumping, and most especially scanning properly. Again, thanks Viper for being generous for over 10 years! Also hopefully we see the Database out of beta sometime soon.
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BetaWiki contributor.

Exemptus
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Exemptus »

Excellent news. My personal experience with the WD MyBooks has been hit-and-miss (I moved to a Synology NAS with hot spares and never looked back) but maybe I was unlucky. In any case, 120 Tb is a healthy amount of space and, with luck, will be put to good use. Let's give that bloke Viper a medal please.

Andy
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Andy »

Exemptus wrote:Excellent news. My personal experience with the WD MyBooks has been hit-and-miss (I moved to a Synology NAS with hot spares and never looked back) but maybe I was unlucky. In any case, 120 Tb is a healthy amount of space and, with luck, will be put to good use. Let's give that bloke Viper a medal please.
These are WD Red NAS drives so they're designed for exactly what we're going to be using them for.

mrpijey
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by mrpijey »

And we're also not going to run the storage off these enclosures, but move the drives to the primary file server. But since they come with good NAS drives it was just a much better deal than getting the drives separately.
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Exemptus
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Exemptus »

mrpijey wrote:And we're also not going to run the storage off these enclosures, but move the drives to the primary file server. But since they come with good NAS drives it was just a much better deal than getting the drives separately.
Makes sense to me. Nothing against WD Reds, they're fine drives - it's the enclosures I don't care a lot about. You gotta take those Prime Day deals when you see the chance though, so good show.

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Resident007 »

Wow, now that’s what I call good news! I also want to thank Viper, Andy, mrpijey and BA staff for making that possible.
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Caveria »

I like these future changes to BetaArchive! Thank you! :)

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by MCpillager12 »

1,250 dollars? :OD Thats a lot.
Anyways, thank you viper!

ecumber
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by ecumber »

Wow, that's 20 times the amount of storage on my PC, not even counting the existing storage!

Nightsteed
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Nightsteed »

Amazing news, many thanks to Viper and mrpijey for those big donations!

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by DJ Deedahx »

A genuine act of goodwill towards a site that has stood for preservation and authenticity over the years. The FTP server has drastically evolved ever since I joined in late 2013, and can only continue to go up from here. A big thank you to Viper and all donators who have aided BetaArchive in staying afloat!
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Meow_2004 »

Thank you viper for the donation, and thank you to everyone for the awesome updates coming up! Can't wait!!
-Meow_2004

------------------------------
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Old PC
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Current PC
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viper
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by viper »

Hi people
Thank you for all the Thank You & kind words, which is part of what makes it (for me) worth donating to a worthy website/cause.
I am not rich but could see BA needed some financial assistance so I just moved my vacation $$ from that pocket to the discretionary pocket & pulled the trigger. I’ll budget & take a vacation later instead.

Andy, mrpijay & staff have put in a ton-o-time & £ here, they truly deserve my & everyone’s thanks & continued support.

Thank you Andy, mrpijay & staff
Good job, you are the best
viper
Last edited by viper on Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by x010 »

Firstly, I have strong respect for this member (viper). Donating a thousand pounds just for a single site is quite a lot. It is also very good to see the admins' commitment to keep this site free, well done on that, and despite things here that occasionally annoy me, I must admit the good work they all do. Thank you from my side.
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That being said, I wonder whether the wiki is a good place to integrate with the CMS. This was part of my thoughts I had shared with mrpijey before the wiki was upgraded on 17th March 2019. The drawback is that some work on the skin will be required to make it 'look' more like the forum, but I think this is easy to set up (by simply using a Tutorials namespace instead), and would help popularise the wiki further.

The wiki is also a very powerful place to integrate with the Database, in my opinion. But, it seems that I am the only user here who works more on the wiki than on the forum, and this might raise claims that I am 'biased' towards it (though I think I have been a (reasonably) good moderator for the wiki till now, please let me know if you think otherwise).
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It would also be appreciated if the admins here could give some clarity as to the status of the VIP rank. I am in no way criticising viper's addition to the list, rather I would like to know how you plan to keep this in the future.

(and as for site updates, shouldn't the phpBB update be the first thing really - it's way outdated?)

mrpijey
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by mrpijey »

The wiki will not be used for website integration, it's not designed for that. Neither will the database. We will keep the wiki separate from the website as we need more flexibility, and you've already seen that the wiki needs like a million addons and mods to work properly, which is not what we want as a foundation for the whole site.

We're working with a CMS that is designed for agile website development and design. The wiki is designed for wiki and will stay that way.

As for the VIP rank, it's work in progress. We do have some ideas for it and to re-introduce it, but this time we will do it when we have implemented some features for it. At this point it's just a status marker without any extra benefits.

PHPBB should be updated yes, but it actually the one feature that works well as it is, so we focus on other features now and include PHPBB updates and feature addons whenever it's needed.

Once we have more info regarding the website development, new features, site changes there will be announcements posted.
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by JimOlive »

Do you guys have jobs? That might help with the money thing.

Andy
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Andy »

JimOlive wrote:Do you guys have jobs? That might help with the money thing.
^o) ^o) ^o)

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Of course we have jobs, but we don't earn enough to run this site on our own. We have lives as well, rent to pay, bills to pay, etc. We do this as a hobby only and provide it for free. Would you rather the site was subscription based? Didn't think so.

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by mrpijey »

JimOlive wrote:Do you guys have jobs? That might help with the money thing.
Sigh...
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by cad6000 »

If per say, someone isn't able to help donate any money or a very small amount but wants to help with the site/database overall, is there anything they can do? IE donate servers, hard drives, or other resources that may potentially help with the cause? :)

I would love to help more than I have in the past however I also have bills to pay and currently cannot donate money.

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by Andy »

It's possible. Send us a PM with what you have to offer and we'll let you know if we can utilise it.

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by JonathonWyble »

Guess I'm a little late for the party, but well done viper for donating that much money to BetaArchive! I hope that'll help keep BA online for a very long time.
Offtopic Comment
What would your reaction be if someone randomly donated one million dollars to BA? *hehe* Not that that would ever happen, but if that just somehow happened, what would you do?

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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by longhornwhistler »

Thank you viper for securing the future of this site!! I love downloading and contributing releases from here and I hope there is more to come!
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Re: Special Thank You & Future of BA Announcement

Post by techosarusrex »

The future seems to be very bright for BetaArchive which I am very happy about :)

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