Slowdowns, Offline and slowdowns follow up

Since the Sunday right before Labor day monday, the sites have been slow. And today, Sunday the 9th or September, the whole server farm went offline from 1:00am EDT ’til 9:40am EDT. Even now that the sites are online, things are flaky with lots of slowdowns and dropped connections.

After much investigation, we found that our oldest two servers (circa 2003) have given up the ghost and the rest are not keeping up with demand. It seems that the electric power in the facilities have something to do with the issue.

Here is what we will do to remedy the situation:

This week sometime, the servers will be moved to a different facility and the dead servers will be replaced. We don’t know the exact time of the move, but it will be in the coming few days. We will make an announcement few hours before the actual move and as soon as we have a firm time.

During the few hours before the move, the site will be in limited functionality. No new postings and no payments accepted.

During the move, the site will be completely offline, and it will last for a couple of hours at least. After that, everything should be back to normal.

Meanwhile, until that happens, the server farm has decreased in capacity, so expect lower performance from all the site that we have, including SOL and Finestories.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this will have. Hopefully, we’ll restore the service to a better than ever shape.

Published by Lazeez

Owner and operator of

61 replies on “Slowdowns, Offline and slowdowns follow up”

  1. Thanks for the update. I will look forward to the improvements. While I can’t speak for everyone, I want you to know how much I appreciate your continuing efforts and the top-notch site you provide.

    Good luck with the move and updates.

    Dark Vision

  2. These things happen. Glad that the site is still functioning and will get better

    thank you for all this work

  3. Hi,
    That sucks but then again that is life. 🙂

    Thanks for the info and what you are doingt o get things back working and here’s hoping it goes smoothly.


  4. Thank You.
    It’s so seldom somebody tells the grunts what going on.
    THANK YOU from the grunts ! ! !

  5. thanks for the update, always good to get info. i hope everything goes well with the move. thank you for the brilliant sites and the wonderful service.

  6. Lazeez, you and any staff that you have (if any) do an excellent job maintaining and developing the sites. I take the outages with a grain of salt as I know how frustrating it is trying to servers well serving. This is especially true when the servers are located where you can’t easily get your hands on them. I’ve been doing that with a much smaller system for 15 years. I’ll probably never qualify for a free premium membership as an author. In fact, I didn’t even know that it existed until a fellow author told me about it. I don’t care, I’m happy to pay for the service.

  7. Thank you for letting us know what is going on. It really does help a lot to know what a general plan is.

    Laz keep up the good work

  8. Thanks for the update.
    I had been worried that someone or something had been messing with the data while in transit for the last week.

    For what it is worth the secure site does not seem to be affected by this.

  9. Thanks for the update. I know all about computer problems, I have been working with computers (including programming) since1976. Good luck with your move.

  10. Thanks for the info. I got more than a little worried when both sites were inaccessible last night. Hope the move goes well.

  11. Laz, you do a fantastic Job, in my opinion, and no one can blame you for what has happened. Keep up the good work. It was funny though, I never thought that I would use Rogers to gain admittance, like through the back door.

  12. Like Dark Vision, I also want to thankyou for the great site and work you do. Thanks for letting us know what happened.

    G’day from Melbourne Australia

  13. Thank you, The service you provide is excellent, and the down time minimal, breakdowns happen, and as with the other respondents, I wish you well with the move

  14. How about a quick note on BTFH when you take it down. They are the ones that let us know of the problem. I believe a lot of your readers are logged into both sites each day. Thanks for all that you do.

  15. Since I moved to sol after getting pissed off at Literotica for the final time, thanks for your wonderful service!

  16. Never thought I’d experienced something akin to mild withdrawal symptoms during the outage. Sunday afternoons weren’t meant to be spent any other way! Kept going back to check if the site was back up. Guess I’m not alone in saying SOL has become a part of my life. Thanks Laz

  17. Well Laz I know from experience that a sure fire way of warping a server is to have dirty electricity. I think you do a great job keeping it up. Hope the new digs treat you and your servers better. Good luck with the move and may it go smoothly for you.

  18. You do such a good job of keeping things running smoothly’ that on the rare occasions that something does go wrong, I first assume that there’s something wrong with my computer. Then think it’s my modem. Then I assume it’s my ISP. Only much (very much) later do I even think to check your blog to see if the site might be having problems! I appreciate your efforts including that you keep us informed.

  19. Yup – I was wondering why connection and response time has been so flaky.
    thanks for the info. Maybe now I’ll learn patience!!! It’s worth waiting for

  20. GoDaddy is also suffering a major outage, reporting as many as 5 mllion sites down because their network is Kaput!


  21. The funny thing was about 2hrs after you came back on line, my ISP went down, must have be all the users of SOL, in the UK trying to get into to your site. Thanks for the update on this and goodluck with the move.

    Jimbristol (UK)

  22. Thanks for keeping us informed. You all have provided us with great service for the last 10 years that I have been here. You are constantly making a good thing always better. I do not think that there should be any complaints when something (very rarely!) goes wrong. You all do a fine job and no one can foresee every potential problem! Thanks for a job well done!

  23. Sure glad to hear the problem is on your end. I was beginning to think this old machine was about to give up the ghost!

    Of all the sites I’ve worked through, this is one of the easiest and most reliable. Wouldn’t want to lose it now! Even this small glitch is nothing compared to what it could have been — like a hacked site that has to be completely scrubbed!
    (Dun dat, bin dere!)

    R.J. Shore ( on the Left Coast of Canada)

  24. Thanks for keeping us informed. If you can afford it, I suggest getting a rack mount UPS with Automatic Voltage Regulation or a line conditioner with a regular UPS. Those will take care of over and under voltage due to power problems. If you are getting ready to invest in new servers, might as well get this kind of insurance to keep them covered.

  25. Thanks for the info. Good to know it was not my system (for once)!
    Here’s to an uneventful move. Might want to make a sacrifice to
    the Internet Gods before the move, just to be safe.


  26. THANKS Its nice to have a reason for the outages. Please keep up the good work. I don’t like the delays but it will be well worth it to me and others, I am sure of it. Thanks again. Good luck on the moves.

    1. VMWare is fairly expensive, and if the servers that died were from around 2003, it probably isn’t financially feasible to use it. I know the feeling. I have 4 servers that date from about that time that are still in operation.

  27. Thanks for the update. I was worried it was the damn internet connection. You never know with Cox Internet. Ya’ll are doing fantastic.

  28. Thanks for the info.
    Speaking of glitches and only because I don’t know where else to report this, carnigirl’s (who has comments turned off) ‘Deputy Porter’ with it’s latest 3 chapter (58 – 60) update seems to be out of sequence and out of context.

    Maybe you could pass this on to the author.

  29. Every page is still loading very slowly for me. I notice because your site is usually one of the fastest I’ve experienced, but I am giving up lately after waiting a minute for a page to load.

    1. I’m finding that trying to access the site between mid-morning and early evening results in many pages timing out before they load and sometimes won’t load at all, but later in the evening when traffic is down, it’s lightning-quick. Sounds like the servers still haven’t caught up with the traffic yet. Can we assume that’ll take care of itself over the next few weeks?

  30. It’s been over a week now, do you have any further news for us on the move and when the site will be back in full operation? I think I can say for everyone we really love this site and want to contunue for a very long time, PLEASE keep us informed.


  31. Iknew something was up when the pages were taking “forever” to load up or time out. Glad you can solve the problem. Many thanks for all you do and for helping me in the past. It is greatly appreciated.


  32. Glad new servers are in. When I am logging in, I get a message from my anti-virus software saying that the certificates don’t match. It may cause some people to worry.

    1. I’m unable to reproduce any security warning using all the browsers that I have. I don’t know what your ‘anti-virus’ software is looking for, but the certificates are there and they’re valid and Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Opera didn’t complain about the site’s credentials.

  33. Just for info – it’s not just slow, but can’t download Kindle (.mobi) files either. Hope you get it sorted out soon, but I sympathise; something very similar happened to me a year or so ago, and it took a couple of months to sort out completely! Hope you’re luckier than that!

  34. Two hours i dont know if it was accurate as im in UK england so i was asleep i think. but well done anyway. In the years ive been reading stories on line and fine stories ive not had any real complaint to make and the only comment i can make is the number of stories seemingly discontinued for a long time i just wonder if the authors were still around?

  35. I was wandering, When i try to log on to storiesonline with my kindle 3g key board it says site is down for maintenance. Site works great on computer but does come up with a security advisory. I run enternet explorer and norton. Should i do some thing different. Love the site. Thanks

    1. You need to reset your kindle so that it would refresh the contents.

      As for the security certificate, the issue is only with IE7 or IE8. Try a different browser and you’ll find that it has no complaint. I filed a bug report with the certificate authority. We’ll see if there is something to be done to fix the issue.

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