During the next days we're going to test different new server setups. Eventually this shall help us (significantly) decrease monthly costs *and* increase overall performance.
While we switch servers or server configurations there *may* be short downtimes. We expect them to last maybe minutes or just seconds (or not even that in some cases). If we should expect longer downtimes we'll try to announce them in this thread and/or set up an "Oh Bother!" information page.
No serious data loss is expected but in very rare cases a release or registration you're just working on may fail in the middle (well, nothing new here, right? ;-/ ).
Some of the configurations we're testing may show poor performance (after all, that's the most important thing we're going to check out). Slow server response and possibly an increased number of "Time Out" errors. Of course, if some test case fails severely we'll revert as instantly as possible.
We're doing performance tests before we go live, however the most relevant information is how the system responds under real live load. It's impossible to test this "in vitro".
Our current servers were brought into service in 2008, that's almost 6 years ago. They were rather high-end back then and their pricing still is quite significant. We have a monthly server bill pretty well (or "pretty badly"?) in the 4-digit numbers. Traffic is paid separately. And since we very recently experienced a very significant increase in traffic (which caused very significant additional costs) mostly due to highly increase search engine spider activity (something we cannot do much about) we have to expedite this move, that already was planned to happen later this year.
Oh, by the way: Did you notice that since a few weeks there's a separate "Donate" button on the very bottom of each page? ;-) And of course you can always support BookCrossing through our Supply Store: http://secure.bookcrossing.com/