The new server has now walked through the necessary steps to get basic functions up-and-running, like PHP, database features, caching functions, and user permissions. We're looking at roll-out in the immediate future. The optimist in me says tomorrow is our release target, but we'll see.
Regardless, it will be a seamless transition. All user data, articles, and forum posts will transfer. The site will operate a bit faster, at least, and we'll soon be revamping the front-end with a slightly tweaked interface. Soon, in this instance, means "1Q2017."
In the very least, I'm excited about the new server. GN's server migrations have been major milestones for us over the years. In ~2011, we were kicked off our shared hosting because the site began drawing too much traffic, and it was actually bringing down other sites on the same server. Using shell for the first time, I was able to build-up our current solution and get us operating smoothly til now. During high traffic periods with GTA V & The Witcher 3 content roll-outs, we made changes to the server that better sustained/optimized for high traffic volume in bursty periods.
This impending launch is our second major server migration. To reiterate: Faster, better ability to sustain high traffic volume, and better stability are all the immediate gains from this move.
It'll be largely seamless to your experience -- there's a good chance that most people will never notice the migration. But this is an important step forward for GN, and I'm looking forward to its execution. We are fast coming up on GN version 5.0, but it will be a long period of development yet. This version, GN4.0, will be migrated to the new server setup, then prepped for overhauls.