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New Server Ordered

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ian, Sep 20, 2008.

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  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    I had posted this first a few days ago in the VIP Forum, but now that I have more information I decided to post this here.

    After the first weekend of the season, I began researching exactly what a forum like ours really needs in terms of server resources in order to run efficiently even when 3000+ people are here using the board. I've spoken to the hosting company at length and have researched what some of the top messageboards on the internet use for a processor, SCSI hard drives, etc. and have come up with a solution that will eliminate the game day slow downs. This will be an expensive endeavor, but I know there has been some frustration since game one and I'm not willing to deal with this for the next 14-weeks. You should see a lightening fast board going forward once the transition is complete.

    I will answer the number one question for those who think that there is an obvious solution, since I've seen this in several threads:

    Q: Why can't you block guests on gameday from the board which seems like an obvious solution to the problem?

    A: I can block them from accessing the board, but they're not blocked from the server. They still receive a message stating they have to register to view the board. This still requires DB queries, which doesn't solve the problem. We then receive over 100 registrations per hour, and they all login and stay anyway. Believe it or not a high percentage (almost 75% from what I tracked last Sunday) were Pats Fans who were either finding the board for the first time or were regular readers who simply didn't have an account.

    Q: What is the problem, and can we do anything this weekend to make it run better until we switch next week?

    A: Believe it or not, this is actually the number one issue: For those who use the gameday thread, please wait at least 30 seconds in-between trying to refresh the page. When hundreds of you are sitting there hitting refresh each second, you're performing over 1,000 queries per second which is why the board slows down so much during the game. In case no one noticed last weekend, as soon as the game was over the board speeded up within minutes, and the server stats confirmed this. So try and wait a little bit before clicking refresh. Once we have the new server you can click however much you want.

    I know this is a pain and obviously we dealt with it again last weekend, which was necessary because I wasn't finished going over all the options and making sure that we had all the details worked out. Earlier this week I had final discussions with them, but decided on a couple of better resources to add in to make absolutely sure, and I have finalized exactly what we're going to be doing. So I have placed the order, but the way it looks right now we probably won't have it until Tuesday or Wednesday, and then they'll perform the migration around the end of this week, which works out well since we have the bye coming up.

    I will be disabling all the server-intensive features of vBulletin tomorrow (Sunday) and will disable Guests from viewing more than a small number of threads to lighten the load, and this will be the last weekend we have an issue.

    In the meantime bear with me and we'll get this problem eliminated, I promise. - Ian
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  2. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Great news Ian!! And again THANKS!!! I'm hardly on at teh time of teh game, so I don't know about those issues...(ONLY AFTER THE GAME; bEFORE...) How long will the message board be down...a few hours?? More?? depends on a number of factors?? Just curious about that...It is good timing as it coincides with a bye week..But do keep us informed. Will any history of threads be lost or is that all part of the transfer??
    Thanks again Ian...you are doing a GREAT job!!!
  3. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Yes indeed, THANK YOU!. I had given up trying to even access this board on game days, and I have a good system and DSL to boot.

    Respects,
  4. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    I appreciate that. I'm pushing to have it done late in the evening, and hopefully it will be seamless like last time with no downtime and very little thread loss. So I don't expect any issues. - Ian
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Ian, I work for tech support for AT&T and believe me when I say that the advice you just gave us will go in one ear and out the other with 75% of the people that are viewing this post.
  6. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    Hey, all I can do is try. Thankfully this will be the last weekend and hopefully we may even make it through this one without any issues.
  7. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    1.) People can set their Firefox to automatically reload the page every 5, 10 or 30 seconds, as well as a variable number of minutes. I use that a lot to avoid constant refresh. Of course, using that can cause you to reload while you're in the middle of a post, so it's got some downside.

    2.) I'm just glad that the new solution will allow the guests to view the game. There are just a lot of people who like to lurk rather than log in and post, and this solution will allow them to continue to do that

    3.) Now, about those Chicken Littles....
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  8. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Maybe. Lots of posts (including many of mine) deserve to be nipped in the bud :cool:

    I don't come on during games, so this doesn't affect me, but once again hats off to Ian for all that he does.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  9. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat Rookie

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    You guys do a great job.
  10. marty

    marty Rookie

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    Thanks Ian! I'm probably one of many who've simply given up on trying to go on the board until at least 5hrs after the game! (Most of the trolls seem to give up by then!) But it goes without saying, and I'll say it anyway, you are simply the BEST!!
  11. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Thanks!!! I didn't expect it would take all that long..but I just wondered about that. That it looks like there will be a lil downtime is GREAT!! And even if there was a problem, with a bye week, it's no biggie. How many on the board will that accomodate when it's running?? (just curious...) Or are there a lot of other factors? again..THANKS!!
  12. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    There won't be an issue with the number of users anymore. This one should set us up for quite a while, and is light years ahead of this one. So we should be good to go going forward. There also should be very little if any downtime during this transition, and unlike before there will be no downtime in the event of a hard drive issue as there will be a redundant one which will come on if the other one fails.

    So needless to say I feel much more confident this time around that the issues will be eliminated and am looking forward to the change. This, if all goes well, will hopefully be by the end of this week.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  13. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    I give you credit Ian for your passion and dedicaton
  14. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    Considering the past two miserable weeks I wouldn't say I'm the best at anything, other than QB Challenge :) Reading about everyone being frustrated isn't any fun for me, especially because I'm just as aggravated as they are. So I'm really looking forward to not having to spend my time worrying about slowdowns, traffic issues, staring at server stats, etc. It'll be nice to see everything flying right along, so this can't happen soon enough as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  15. aeg

    aeg Rookie

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    What's the new hardware going to be?
  16. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Ian -
    You continue to make this one of the best message board sites on the net. Thank you.
  17. Va_Pats_Fan

    Va_Pats_Fan Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    Ian,
    Is there a version of this software that can be deployed across a cluster? When your only way to expand is throw more hardware at the issue vertically, you soon hit the ceiling....
  18. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    That's not the issue. vBulletin is very I/O (Inbound/Outbound) intensive, so the current server's processor can't deal with the high amount of queries coming in that we're dealing with, and the hard drive we have isn't fast enough to accomodate it either. So I'm replacing it with the correct configuration to deal with our issues.

    After reviewing this thoroughly I can promise you we won't have any further issues going forward :)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  19. CheekyDave

    CheekyDave Rookie

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    Thank you for your tremendous job! Now EVERYONE on this thread and on this board who uses the site for your/our pleasure, PONY up and pay the 20 bucks to help the site!!
  20. Crowpointer

    Crowpointer Rookie

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    Thanks again Ian for running a first class that now will be even better.
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