Spotlight on Systems!

The OTW’s Systems teams work behind the scenes to support, manage, and maintain all the technical systems needed to run the OTW and its projects, such as the Archive of Our Own and Fanlore.

Systems’ work mostly happens behind the scenes, but they are BUSY, fielding requests from all parts of the organization and working hard to keep all our sites up and responsive. Systems team members have to be ‘on call’ in order to deal with emergencies at any time of the day or night: if the Archive of Our Own goes down, it’s Systems who fly to the rescue (while over 130 thousand users wait impatiently!).

2012 was a particularly demanding year for Systems because of the speed with which the OTW and its projects grew. Over 2,970,103 people now access the Archive of Our Own in the course of a month, up from 808,000 a year ago. Meanwhile, Fanlore has also grown, passing 400,000 edits in 2012, and other projects have continued to develop. Managing these projects and their volunteers also requires technical resources, and Systems have helped the OTW to transition to some more effective tools over the past year.

Systems highlights

Over the course of 2012, Systems:

  • Handled 557 requests from around the organization \0/
  • Transitioned the OTW website and some related tools and projects to a new host with a third party Drupal vendor, who will provide much-needed technical support for these tools.
  • Dealt with the performance problems on the Archive of Our Own, stepping in to implement major performance enhancements and keep the site up.
  • Researched, bought and installed 3 new servers to host our projects and cope with the ever-growing demands on the Archive of Our Own.
  • Researched hosting options and installed two additional servers after a kindly benefactor donated them to the OTW.
  • Set up new hosting and tools for our volunteers to use, including new hosted environments for our coders, so that coders don’t have to install the Archive code on their own machines.
  • Kept everything up and running, with amazing patience and good humour in the most stressful situations.

Find out more!

James from Systems has written up an amazing and detailed account of the main work Systems did in the course of 2012. To get some in-depth insight into the amazing work Systems do, check out: A year with the Systems team

If you’re technically minded, or curious about how much hardware is needed to run the Archive of our Own, you’ll also enjoy James’ posts on our changing server setups over the past year, and our technical plans going forward:

January 2012 server setup
January 2013 server setup
Going forward: our hardware setup and technical plans

Thank you!

Systems do an amazing job of juggling their many responsibilities. We really appreciate their work – thanks Systems!

Mirrored from an original post on the Archive of Our Own.

Archive of Our Own, Spotlight

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