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CAPE-OPEN forums are gone

Initially posted on October 19, 2012

Since September 2008, CO-LaN had trusted Forumer in providing a forum hosting service to the CAPE-OPEN community. The forums were active with more than 100 members and posts in the thousands.

Around October 5, 2012, the CAPE-OPEN forums hosted at could not be reached anymore. We have received a definitive explanation on October 18 evening. It announced that the forum are dead and more sadly that the forum data, i.e. all posts, are definitely lost. Here is what CrowdGather, the new owner of Forumer since April 2011, told us:

Back on April 6, 2011, we purchased the Forumer platform with plans to improve and grow the community as part of the CrowdGather family. However, shortly after the acquisition we discovered the Forumer code base was unstable and that the server infrastructure supporting the software was overly complicated as well as situated on aging, unsteady servers.

Since maintaining the status quo was untenable, our first move was to work toward stabilizing the platform’s infrastructure by migrating Forumer to the cloud with Amazon’s Web Services (AWS). While the move to new hardware helped stabilize site uptime, it did not alleviate the challenges of Forumer’s software code base, nor was it possible to easily change the infrastructure configuration. Forumer’s current infrastructure makes it extremely difficult to deploy broad code base changes that apply consistently to all of Forumer. Additionally, the infrastructure makes it onerous and difficult to run data backups.

Instead of rewriting the Forumer code base and radically changing the infrastructure, which would have required an inordinate amount of resources, we made the decision to begin migrating Forumer to, a more stable and modern platform. Once completed, the migrations would obviate the need for significant code and server changes to Forumer. We announced the first of these migrations for IPB, since we felt that the IPB code base was most in need of improvement. To date, we have already migrated over 6,000 IPB boards to Yuku and soon we are going to migrate the phpbb2 boards, followed by phpbb3.

Unfortunately, and well before we were able to migrate any phpbb2 sites, we received a notice (copied below) from AWS indicating that the data on Forumer servers 14, 16 and 19 were irretrievably lost. Although measures were apparently in place to back up the data, it appears that none of the backup measures executed properly when the AWS hardware crashed. We felt Amazon’s response was unacceptable and pressed them to recover the data, but to no avail. We explored other possibilities and options, even seeking older copies of the data, but we were still unable to recover any data.

We are terribly sorry for the data loss many of you have incurred. Although we make every effort to back up data, it appears the worst has happened and contingency plans did not properly execute. We are continuing to migrate the rest of Forumer safely to Yuku, and are in the process of manually backing up every single Forumer server to protect the community against any other outages with Amazon.



From: "ebs-support at"
To: CrowdGather NOC AWS
Subject: Your EBS volume in us-east-1b

Dear CrowdGather ,

Your volume experienced a failure due to multiple failures of the underlying hardware components and we were unable to recover it. Although EBS volumes are designed for reliability, backed by multiple physical drives, we are still exposed to durability risks caused by concurrent hardware failures of multiple components, before our systems are able to restore the redundancy. We publish our durability expectations on the EBS detail page here (


EBS Support

We are very sorry about this situation. The forum community was a very lively one and the forums proved useful to many.

CO-LaN placed its trust in the wrong hands and did not develop an alternative solution. We have been learning from that and have developed backup procedures for the remaining CO-LaN activities. For a long time CO-LaN has been requesting from CrowdGather/Forumer the possibility to backup the data contained in the CAPE-OPEN forums. CrowdGather/Forumer never accepted to provide backups. We are researching now a forum hosting service that will let us backup any forum data. If you know of a reliable one, please let us know.

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