In order to improve the stability of the current forums, as well as to prepare for an upgrade in the future, I switched the forums off to perform some maintenance tasks.
If these tasks were successful, they were scheduled to take several hours. If unsuccessful, we'd know pretty much immediately and revert to an unchanged state. Unfortunately, due to the extremely large size of the forum database, this process ended taking up far longer than anticipated. In the end, I made the decision to dump the entire search index because it was the only remaining table and would take far too long to finish the maintenance. As such, searching has been disabled.
How much this helps the current server remains to be seen, but it's important to remember that these maintenance tasks performed now will reduce the time needed in the final upgrade by an almost 1:1 ratio, as they need to be performed before or during the upgrade. However, it comes with a caveat. Due to the time taken to perform these tasks, I may need to revise and greatly increase the estimate on how long the final upgrade will take.
The services and settings are still being tuned. I will be monitoring and making further changes. So, you can expect the forum to be switched off or unavailable for shorter periods in the future as the adjustments take place.
If stability and speed is greatly improved, I may start the process of reindexing the forums, in order to reenable search. This will take several days and have the effect of slowing the server right back down during this time.
In addition, there will be future maintenance tasks that may need to be performed in the future. This may require the forums to be switched off again for several hours at a time, but hopefully not for as long a time as the recent tasks, until the final upgrade takes place.