Technology

Summary. Trailguru is considered to be the best global mapping system available. The online service takes GPS data from an iPhone and maintains a database of travels. The system is very useful for consultants who bill clients for time and miles. It’s also a great way to keep track of hiking, bicycle riding, walking, running, and other modes of travel. Other similar online services exist, but they are filled with advertising and typically dedicated to a particular activity such as running. For this reason, Trailguru continues to be the best online service for GPS logging.

12 June 2009. Trailguru may be down again. As of 12 June 2009, when trying to post a track from the iPhone, an error message is returned stating, “The full track was not received by Trailguru, please try again.” Posts on the discussion board are already showing up about this issue.

Trailguru Recent Outage Summary. The Trailguru service was down from April 11 to 26 of 2009. Details of the outage are posted below. This document was originally posted on 14 April 2009 at 1655 CT.

Trailguru Website Outage. On 11 April 2009, posting from an iPhone to the Trailguru.com website would report an error indicating that the “full track was not received by Trailguru, please post again.” This problem was being discussed on the Trailguru forum. As of 14 April 2009, the Trailguru.com website is down and attempts to post tracks from an iPhone result in a message “Network error posting track – please try again later.” Initially it wasn’t clear why the service wasn’t working properly. Later, the site stopped responding. Presumably, once the site was down, it became difficult to communicate out to people about the problem. Eventually, Tim, the site operator, posted news on the site about the problem (see below). When more information is available, we will post it here.

News Update – 26 April 2009. Below is a copy of the message that has been posted on the Trailguru site this past week.

Trailguru has had a database failure and is currently being restored. Don’t worry, my hope is that no data was lost and I am absolutely committed to getting it back online as soon as possible.

UPDATE3: Good news and bad news. The good news is that I was able to figure out how to get a better estimate out of the recovery tool. The bad news is my estimate is that the recovery will complete on Sunday (the 26th). I know how disappointing this is to everyone (including myself) but I am pretty confident that the recovery will be complete by then and the site will be back up and running. Hang in there and just keep collecting tracks!

UPDATE2: I believe the recovery process is getting close to finished — hang in there and we should be back online in a day or so. In parallel, I have worked on both backup and recovery processes that will make it much faster to recover in the future and also am working on changes that make this much less likely to happen in the future — even if someone throws the power switch. Again, thanks for all the notes of encouragement — they are greatly appreciated even if I can’t respond to them all.

UPDATE: Unfornuately, further steps are required to remove the corruption from the tracks table and it is going to take 2 or so days more to bring the database back online. I’m sorry about this — I am just as frustrated as you — but the scale of Trailguru (193M+ tracks) makes recovery very slow. In parallel, I am putting in a much more robust recovery system so that if something catastropic happens like this again that the recovery time will be much shorter.

In the meantime, just keep collecting tracks — you can upload them all in one batch when the site is restored and then use “Split Track” on the track page to seperate the different activities back out. Just keep doing the same thing that you’re doing but just don’t clear your Tracks between your exercises until the site is restored.

Again, I am supremely sorry about the outage — thanks for your continuing patience and the emails of support that you have sent. I am also just finishing up a new release for the iPhone that will let you follow outdoor routes and a whole set of improvements to the main web site, so hang in there and we’ll get through this and on to better things.

Tim (timfpark@gmail.com)

PS. For those of you that are technically inclined here are the technical details: My ISP had a power failure on the rack that the Trailguru machine was on. This happened as a track was being written to the database and MySQL marked the table as “crashed” which necessitated a full scan of the table to fix it (“myisamchk -r -q”). This simple scan was not completely successfully and I am now running an even more thorough recovery pass on the table.

News Update – 17 April 2009. As of 17 April, Tim, the site owner, had a more detailed update posted on the site about the system outage:

Travelguru Down for Maintenance

Trailguru has had a database failure and is currently being restored. Don’t worry, no data was lost and I am absolutely committed to getting it back online as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Unfornuately, further steps are required to remove the corruption from the tracks table and it is going to take 2 or so days more to bring the database back online. I’m sorry about this — I am just as frustrated as you — but the scale of Trailguru (193M+ tracks) makes recovery very slow. In parallel, I am putting in a much more robust recovery system so that if something catastropic happens like this again that the recovery time will be much shorter.

In the meantime, just keep collecting tracks — you can upload them all in one batch when the site is restored and then use “Split Track” on the track page to seperate the different activities back out.

Again, I am supremely sorry about the outage — thanks for your continuing patience and the emails of support that you have sent. I am also just finishing up a new release for the iPhone that will let you follow outdoor routes and a whole set of improvements to the main web site, so hang in there and we’ll get through this and on to better things.

Tim (timfpark@gmail.com)

PS. For those of you that are technically inclined here are the technical details: My ISP had a power failure on the rack that the Trailguru machine was on. This happened as a track was being written to the database and MySQL marked the table as “crashed” which necessitated a full scan of the table to fix it (“myisamchk -r -q”). This simple scan was not completely successfully and I am now running an even more thorough recovery pass on the table.

News Update – 16 April 2009. As of 16 April, Tim, the site owner, is currently working to get the site back online. He has posted a message on the main page:

“Trailguru has had a database failure and is currently being restored. Don’t worry, no data was lost and I am absolutely committed to getting it back online as possible.

Give me hopefully just a few more hours to get every one of those 193 million tracks you folks have submitted back online and then I’ll turn the site back on.

Sorry for the outage and thanks for your continuing patience and support!

Tim (timfpark@gmail.com)”

Support. For support and more information about Trailguru, visit our document Trailguru User Guide and Help Instructions for Support and Time Zone Adjustment.

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