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Thread: An explanation about the board speed, downtime, etc. from our host

  1. #1
    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    An explanation about the board speed, downtime, etc. from our host

    Here's a series of emails between our host and I regarding the problems the board's had recently:

    "Hello,

    I've been a client of yours for some time now....you guys host
    redszone.com for me. When the site's up, the load time is quick and we have little complaints about the site's speed. However, the site goes down all the time....I don't know if it's a result of traffic or what but throughout the day, there are "outages" where the site is totally acceptable. Right now (8:15 EST) is one of those times. Can you please let me know what the problem is so that we can have it corrected? If it's a result of traffic, I'd be willing to listen to paying more if that will correct the problem. Thanks."

    Their response:

    "I saw this come through yesterday but was able to pull the site up during this time from my home connection. Checked the monitoring servers also and do not show the site was down.. Can verify this by sending you traffic excerts from the logs for this period in question.

    As far as site performance, the best think we can recommend is that you move the site to a private server. You are gonna want to do this anyway soon as the legacy platform you are on is going away and any shared sites will be monitored for resource over usage and bandwidth metered billing will be in place. We already know your site uses ALOT of resources
    and bandwidth guys, we have seen your site alone crash that server you are on from pure resources being used. Moving to a private server is the only real solution in the long term for your site. To be honest I have been told more then once that your site cost us more to host then we make by the system admins, upgrading to a private server would get the site into a more reasonable billing status for resources used."

    My response:

    "A few questions...
    1). How much would it cost to move to a private server?
    2). This would involve creating a mirror of the current site and then setting that back up on the new server, correct?
    Thanks."

    Finally, their latest response:

    "Your monthly fee would be 79.95 and yes we would give you plenty of time for migration before moving the DNS entry"

    Well, I'm not sure what our options are but I can tell you that paying $80 a month is not one of them. To anyone out that who's web saavy: we can find a better deal than this, can't we? It looks like we will eventually have to switch hosts - anyone have suggestions for hosting that can handle this amount of traffic but doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Thanks for your help.

    Boss

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  3. #2
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    Boss:

    Can you tell me what you're getting for what you're paying now?

    In other words, how much hard drive space, and more specifically, how much bandwidth you are allotted?

    I may be able to find a cheaper plan for you. I have a lot of experience dealing with hosting companies.

    Unfortunately, there may be little else you can do. This site just flat out gets TOO MUCH TRAFFIC for it's own good. I'm amazed your hosting company has been as patient with you as it has. It sounds like soon they are going to start charging you for overages, and that could cost you much more than $80 per month.
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  4. #3
    Administrator GIK's Avatar
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    Basically...this is what we have:

    $19.95 per month

    200MB server space
    20GB monthly transfer

  5. #4
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    WOW! You guys are burning up 20GB monthly transfer! I knew this sit was busy, but that is freakin crazy!

    You guys are actually getting a really good deal at the moment. $20 for 20GB of transfer is really really good.

    I'll look around, but it's gonna ge hard to find something cheaper that gives you more than 20GB a month.
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  6. #5
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    I don't know much about this kind of stuff.

    Would restricting the number of pages or the age of topics help?

    Not much you can do to reduce traffic, but you can reduce stored material.

    (If it will help, please kill and delete UnderDunn's word association thread in non-baseball chatter. It was fun and silly and a time killer before the start of games. UnderDunn didn't anticipate that it would take on such a life of it's own. UnderDunn is an idiot! )
    "I've never understood the term "women and children" as if their lives are somewhat more important than men."

  7. #6
    Administrator GIK's Avatar
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    Our host does have an option to upgrade to 30GB for $34.95/mo. That might be an option as well.

    Keep any info/advice coming!

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    TC:

    When they upgraded to the database driven board instead of the old PERL script version, it greatly improved the board speed. I don't think that the word association thread is killing too much, because it only queries the database for it when it is called. Even then, it only calls the page you're looking at.

    Small stopgap solutions could be lowering the amount of topics displayed on the front page and to a lesser degree the number of posts per page when you click on a thread.

    GIK, do you have any way of finding out how much bandwidth you are actually using on an average month?
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  10. #9
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    To be honest, your visitor sessions are not as high as I expected. But, you are chewing through a ton of bandwidth. Not so much now, but in the season you were consistantly shattering (almost doubling) your bandwidth allotment. In July you topped out at just under 35 GB.

    Now though, according to your stats, you should be fine. If I were you, I'd try scaling back the number of topics displayed on the front Reds front page. Also, consider dropping the number of posts displayed on a page in a thread.

    Then, watch your daily stats page specifically the KBytes column:

    http://redszone.com/stats/usage_200211.html#DAYSTATS

    If you notice a significant drop, that might get you through the offseason. When the season starts up, you should definitely lean towards getting 35GB of transfer. Especially if they are going to start charging you for overages. I guarantee you the difference between 20 and 35 will be a lot more than $15 a month.

    But, it looks like according to your stats, you haven't busted your monthly 20GB limit since August. If you are still having problems, it makes me wonder if your host just cant handle the bandwidth they are giving you. Switching hosting companies could always be an option.
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  11. #10
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Yeah, we're outside my area of expertise here, but it looks the server hasn't had to work as hard since the spike in July. From July to August, some key stats immediately dropped about 30%. IIRC, this coincides with the reprogramming of the site (or whatever you did) after the site crashed. I seem to recall that this happened at the same time as the Branyon trade (approx. late July??). So anyway, things look much better now than they did before, stat-wise.

  12. #11
    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help guys.

    I changed the number of threads to display on each forum page from 50 to 35. I also dropped the maximum number of posts per page from 40 to 30. Hopefully this will help out some.

    Boss

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    Also, and this may be a small cut in bandwidth, but you might want to consider a new logo.

    The one you have now is almost 50kb. I know that isn't all that big, but consider that it is on every page of your site. So evertime anyone looks at anything on your site that's 50kb just for the logo at the top. The logo in the top right of my site is only 16kb.

    But on an average month, you gould serve as much as a 1GB or more just pushing through your logo.

    Pretty crazy, eh?

    I could try and optimize it a little in photoshop for you to bring the file size down if you like.
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  14. #13
    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me...I never even considered that. If anyone's good with graphics and wants to design a new logo that's smaller in file size (not necessarily dimensions, just the file size), go ahead

    Thanks again for your help, Ace...it's much appreciated.

    Boss

    Originally posted by Aceking
    Also, and this may be a small cut in bandwidth, but you might want to consider a new logo.

    The one you have now is almost 50kb. I know that isn't all that big, but consider that it is on every page of your site. So evertime anyone looks at anything on your site that's 50kb just for the logo at the top. The logo in the top right of my site is only 16kb.

    But on an average month, you gould serve as much as a 1GB or more just pushing through your logo.

    Pretty crazy, eh?

    I could try and optimize it a little in photoshop for you to bring the file size down if you like.

  15. #14
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Boss, I'll send you a logo to try.

  16. #15
    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    is there anything that we can do as individuals?

    If we individually reduce the number of posts per page and/or the age of the posts (only those for the past 5-10 days as opposed to 30), would that help?

    Not suggesting we all do that ... only if it's convenient. If you check the board nearly every day, do you need to call up posts for the past 30 days every time you log in? If you only read the board 2-3 times a month, by all means leave it at 30.

    Also, is it better to get in and out 2-3 times in a session, or to remain logged in and minimize the board for the duration of the session? Is loading the primary drain on resources?

    These may be silly questions, but perhaps if each of us could save a little, it'll add up to a lot.

    And we'd all be better citizens. All we need is a flag and a pledge.


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