Tag Archives: hardware

Service schedule March – April 2012

The long awaited and eagerly anticipated license upgrade is coming soon, the conclusion of a multi-year process. To minimise disruption to OpenStreetMap mappers and users, we’re taking the opportunity to install our new database server (funded by your generous contributions) at the same time – reducing the total amount of downtime needed.

Please be aware of the following service schedule and the list of dates further on in this article. The license upgrade will start with the database server migration. All times and dates are subject to change: our volunteers are working flat out on this, so thanks in advance for your patience and support.


There will be a several-day period of limited API availability. The API will be Read Only while the database is moved to the new database server, ramoth. This new database server was funded by your contributions during the December 2011 fund raising campaign. No map editing will be possible while the API is Read Only.

During the remainder of the upgrade, the API should operate normally. Please postpone bulk edits where possible, until after the license upgrade is complete. As always with system improvements, your patience while you find items to refine is appreciated. Consider monitoring the friendly OSM IRC chat channel, #osm on irc.oftc.net, if you have questions.

We would ask mappers who have not yet agreed (or otherwise) to the new terms to log into OSM before the downtime starts on 1st April (0800 UTC) and signal their intention. We are pleased that the vast majority of OSM data will be unaffected by the license change, and thank all the mappers who have thus far consented to their data being distributed under the new license.

Data consumers

The typical planet file scheduled for this week has been postponed. The final old license planet file will be created from 01 April 2012 data. It will be published once the planet file generation completes which may be delayed by a few days.

The old license replication diff service will stop when the database goes to Read Only mode for the server migration. A new license replication diff service will begin at the completion of the license upgrade from a new address. There will be another message with details for using the new diffs when you are ready to start consuming them.

Important Dates

These dates and times are subject to change without notice.

  • 1st April: Enter Read-only mode. 8am UTC
  • 4th April: End of downtime. Enter Read-write mode on new server. Our estimate is that this will be in the morning, but could be subject to change.
  • 5th-6th April: bbox-based live-data tests of rebuild logic.
  • 7th April: Start automated processing of all remaining non-clean objects.
  • 9th April: Progress report and estimation of remaining license upgrade time.
  • To be Determined: On completion of the processing, subject to satisfaction with the outcome we can re-declare the dataset to be ODbL. Immediately afterwards, a first new license planet file will be generated/published, and diff creation will resume.


Thanks, as always, to the many people who make OpenStreetMap great. These people include: the countless mappers who have improved the data, the operations volunteers who make so many things “just work”, the programmers who make participating in OSM easier every day, the donors who provide the hardware and hosting we rely upon.

Many of you ‘overlap’ in more than one of these areas. Please be aware that the thanks are cumulative. :-)

[As excerpted from Dermot McNally's announcement. Context added from additional sources.]

More new servers

Dragon sculpture on the Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana. Photo CC-By-SA, dani_7C3

The OpenStreetMap Foundation, and the Operations Working Group, would like to thank Nokia UK Limited for the donation of some of their redundant server hardware. This hardware has found new purpose in the form of “soup“[1] and “fiddlestick“[2], two new web front end servers. A third server “eustace“[3] will be used initially as a trial web statistics server.

The web front-end servers, soup and fiddlestick, replace puff and fuchur who had performed that role since 2008. Web front-end servers in OpenStreetMap provide the data browser and data layer, as well as user diaries and other “social” functions.

Eustace will debut in a new role for OpenStreetMap by collecting web statistics. The OpenStreetMap Foundation wants to know more about how users experience the OSM web site in an effort to improve the way that OSM services are delivered.

[1] Character from The Clangers, a UK children’s TV programme.
[2] Strangewood (1999): Fiddlestick, a small musically emotive dragon.
[3] Turns into a dragon in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia) after slipping on a gold bracelet.

Introducing Zark

Zark, during installation.

Zark is the newest OpenStreetMap server. Give Zark a warm welcome. Continuing the in the tradition of naming OSM servers after dragons, the name “Zark” is taken from the Eidolon Chronicles/Shadow World books by Jane Johnson.

The first task for Zark will be to serve as a trial / evaluation server for the OWL – OpenStreetMap Watch List service. OWL’s popularity on the dev server has lead to performance problems and long update delays. After more than a year of development and increasing popularity of OWL’s ability to follow local changes without distracting “Big” changesets, moving OWL to Zark will make this service even more effective for mappers.

Many thanks to bitfolk.com for donating this server.

Donation for OSMF Hardware from MapQuest

MapQuest have made a donation to the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The funds will be applied to hardware improvements and will benefit OpenStreetMap contributors around the world.

The OSMF would like to thank MapQuest for their donation, as do, I’m sure, the more than 311,000 OpenStreetMap contributors who will see the benefits of the improved hardware.

You can make a donation to OpenStreetMap, too.