Apologies to all for the problems we’ve faced with the streaming server. After some extensive testing and adjustment it appears it’s being held ransom by a couple of issues. One is the load on the server at the moment; it’s enormous and occasionally hangs or stops the server app (i.e. the software) completely. Most of the time the auto-restart of the streaming app every 60 mins fixes the problem, but sometimes the server computer (i.e. the hardware) itself may hit a snag too; it’s currently set to reboot itself every 12 hours but we can adjust as necessary. The actual server computer itself, along with the Windows 7 image on top of it, is part of the Charles Sturt University network & policies, and this can cause us headaches as over time minor elements such as security & corporate policy changes can make hidden adjustments to the running of the computer itself, without us ever knowing. For instance it appears that the streaming server system policy had quietly changed a week or three back to turn the hard drives off after 30 minutes of no activity. Which means our streams just stopped, and the computer hibernated!! Problem solved at midnight Sunday when the setting was discovered and a new power policy was implemented to “never” turn any hardware off, and increase the performance to “maximum”. It’s hoped that we’ll be able to administer our own system policy on the server shortly.
We spent a couple of years trying to automate all our processes so we didn’t need to be on-site for every action. Over a long period of time now, and in general, that automation has been spectacularly successful, For example, common campus power outages are overcome by auto-rebooting all our hardware (switches, cameras, servers etc) once power returns. Touch-wood these custom tweaks will continue to give us good up-time in the future. But in peak viewing season (right now!) our older equipment is under huge strain. We have plans in place to upgrade hardware and software but it will take time to test/purchase improvements, along with required additional funding (of which we’d like to warmly thank our recent supporters for their extremely generous donations, which go a long way to our objectives; many thanks!).
We’re also looking at some upgrades to website features, such as implementing a true discussion forum soon to allow viewers and supporters to discuss points without resorting to the less friendly comments system!
Bear with us – it’s on the improve, and especially right now while we await the hopeful hatchings of three healthy new bobble-heads!
Scott (FalconCam Project)