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Board » Technical Discussion » January 2015 weather update problems

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As many of you have noticed, there have been lot's of inconsistencies in the GFS weather update times to the server recently.

This is mainly result of NOAA changing it's file structure on the servers recently and various issues it has caused.

There is no single cause for the delays, the problems there have been (and most of them have been fixed) are:

- I made a mistake when editing download configuration for one of NOAA's 4 server. As a result of this the weather download got stuck if it happened to go to that server.

- Data updates to NOAA's servers have not been as stable as before (they seem to have issues as well). There have been missing files from one server etc.

- Because of NOAA instability, an old bug in the fetching code which had been there for years started showing more often. In a certain retry situation fetching can get stuck. Thanks for Brainaid for finding and fixing this.

We hope that things will stabilize soon, of course as we depend on external source (NOAA) for the updates there are no promises we can make but I assure we do make our best effort. We have also been extremely lucky that Andrea (ita10267) happened to join the tech team right now, he has much better understanding on the NOAA servers than I do.


Thanks, hmmm, Andrea, Eddi, Joanne and all the supporters from a backbencher, who hardly is noticing a delay in wx but still enjoys the athmosphere and smoothness of the game.
Additionally there has been discussion on the weather update times and how much an update can be delayed.

As we depend on loading weather data from external sources (like NOAA) over internet so an exact time for when the update happens is impossible to say.

For GFS which we mainly use, the time when we have received the full dataset now has been around 4:30, 10:30, 16:30 and 22:30 UTC.

As people expect that the weather arrives roughly at that time, if there have been problems requiring admin actions when fetching the weather data I have chosen not to update any more if the update would be delayed a lot.

In the case when NOAA structure changed on 14th of January, I could have updated the weather around 18:30 UTC, two hours later than expected but I chose not to. So far there has not been any definite rules for this, today the 10:30 update was manually updated at 11:24. As this was just less than 1 hour from the expected time that is perhaps a good rule that we will try to keep so that if loading weather happens to be later than that, it will not be done at all by the administrators manually.

However if there is no-one overseeing the update process and there happens a problem, the automatic fetching has several levels retries from four NOAA servers built in. It is impossible to know how long the retries take as different problems can cause different timeouts in the process (time it waits to try loading the same data again).
Additionally there has been discussion on the weather update times and how much an update can be delayed.

However if there is no-one overseeing the update process and there happens a problem, the automatic fetching has several levels retries from four NOAA servers built in. It is impossible to know how long the retries take as different problems can cause different timeouts in the process (time it waits to try loading the same data again).

<>
Hi there. Since it has a few variables, i vote for a non time limit. It comes when it comes, hopefully on time. And of not, it will be later, but as soon as it is there, it will appear?


thxs for the effort.

--- Last Edited by dikkehenk at 2015-01-27 13:42:59 ---
@Henk: I think, the point that Makku is trying to make ;) is another one: Because many gamers here are still not retired and have to work their strategy is built on a sufficient wx routine. For them it might be better "losing" a complete wx instead of missing one because its too late for their schedule - but not for others who have the time to wait and wait and wait....

I deffo prefer a time limit of late wxs - and concidering the procedure - 1 hour should be ok.

Berth/Stu
I agree with StuArt. It is obviously beneficial, if using a router, that the router work be done and new dc's set as soon as possible after a fresh wx is applied to the course. Otherwise we would be running old dc's on new weather. So, we need to have fixed times for the updates, as always has been the case. However, I think leeway of half an hour is acceptable. But if it cannot be done in that half hour it would be better that the wx be left until the next scheduled time. Also, apart from what I just said, it is no good just letting it come in at any time unless there is a statement on the race page saying when the last wx was applied. Otherwise persons just logging on will not know whether or not there has been a wx change since they last looked at it.
@Henk: I think, the point that Makku is trying to make ;) is another one: Because many gamers here are still not retired and have to work their strategy is built on a sufficient wx routine. For them it might be better "losing" a complete wx instead of missing one because its too late for their schedule - but not for others who have the time to wait and wait and wait....

I deffo prefer a time limit of late wxs - and concidering the procedure - 1 hour should be ok.

Berth/Stu
I agree, but apparently there is a chance ( if i understand well ) that it still arrives after that for example hour.
Dont get me wrong here, an hour or 30 min would be more practical for me also. But if the server decides sometimes otherwise ( as i understand ) it can still come in late. Therefore my vote for no time limit.

my 2 cents.
Thanks, hmmm, Andrea and SOL technical staff, excellent work!!!

FW all.
Carlo Alberto
I am prompted to write because there appears to be no decision yet from the management as to the current (if still current) weather update problem. Comments have been made from a few, including me.
What is important to note is that until it runs out, the race grib currently installed on SOL remains operational, so if no update takes place, the grib previously provided to players through the brainaid site (the same grib) continues to be valid.
So those using routers can continue to use the grib they have. And it makes no difference to those not using routers.
The problem arises if SOL management decide to update the operational grib at random times (due to delay of a new grib). In that situation it is unfair to those who choose to log in only or most frequently at the predicted wx update times. But would be beneficial to those who are always racing 100% of their time.
So it has to be clear that the wx update will be applied within, e.g. a half hour period, every six hours, and that if for technical reasons this turns out to be impossible on any instance, the wx will not be updated until the next scheduled timeslot. I think this was the logic that hmm applied when he said in his post of 2015-01-27 13:28:48 "In the case when NOAA structure changed on 14th of January, I could have updated the weather around 18:30 UTC, two hours later than expected but I chose not to." (I think he chose not to because he recognised it would be unfair.)
The fixes are now in the server and situation seems to have stabilized again.

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