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Keltlandia
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8,877 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I think I've asked this before but I forget what the actual answer is, so I'll ask it again. Why does this site, apart from a 1-4 week window of stability, always **** up? What the hell is the deal? I mean, there always seems to be this big server upgrade going on, which will supposedly improve the site impeccably, making the short term frustration worthwhile, however, once this upgrade occurrs, we see little difference and then the site goes wobbly again. It's gotten worse and worse. I think my first year on this site was by far the most stable, with each successive year being more and more loopy with concern to the operational consistency of this site. It doesn't bode well for the future. I'm sure there are people like DaiTengu working on this as I speak, and I truly am grateful, but seriously, is it always going to be like this? Will there ever be an end to that bastard server error message? I've lost so many posts to this twattyness lately, that I've got out of the habbit of posting much. Can someone important reassure me, and probably everybody else, that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that we won't be going back into the tunnel afterwards?
 

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★★★
Joined
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12,611 Posts
It IS frustrating but the following might help... as posted by Dai Tengu and Gothicform recently:

To explain what has happened lately in simple terms the SSC database is now enormous with the table well in excess of 10gb. At the same time we are suffering from hardware limitations - traditional hard drives are inadequate because of their seek times.

What is being done now is the updating of the OS software on the database servers, in preparation of migrating to MySQL 5.1 (beta). MySQL 5.1 allows partitioning of tables, which should vastly increase performance. (instead of scanning 1 10GB table, there will be 10 1GB tables).

At the same time we are trying to appease our moon-language speaking friends, and look into converting the database to utf-8. The database converstion and re-importation was far faster than originally expected but unfortunately, vBulletin wasn't up to the task.

While the database was utf-8, vBulletin got mighty confused so we have had to revert to the old database after working on that.

Anyway, we're back to square 1. However in the next day or so, we will be able to move to MySQL 5.1, and then partition off a few of the very large tables, thereby helping to increase performance. These things never go according to plan but that is the idea!
Cheers,
James
 

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Keltlandia
Joined
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8,877 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cheers B4mmy, but that's the same technobabble I've heard before. I'm sure it's very relevant technobabble, but still..

Surely we should be trying to keep ahead of the game, as the site continues to grow like the monster it is? Are the admins hoping that this growth will level off eventually, or is it expected to continue for some years to come, because to be honest, I would guess that as the years go by, we'd get less new genuine members?
 

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★★★
Joined
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12,611 Posts
...it's all a bag of black magic to me - absolutely no idea why it can't be fixed if I'm honest.

:(
 

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Administrator
Joined
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34,872 Posts
i have a better idea. if you dont like it, **** off. this site is run at considerable expense and free of charge to all its users. we could commercialise, we could make a fortune, and instead we do the opposite and run at a perpetual loss and try and do something that is based around community rather than personal enrichment.

people do not understand. you have a 10gb database, shitty forum software, you have 10,000 people conected to it at once. existing hard drives are not capable of providing this level of access because they simply are not fast enough, say that they have a 4m/s search time thats how many accesses a second?

our solutions are two-fold -
1) to optimise the database
2) to get new hardware. this will cost about $8,000 to $11,000 so we can buy either SSD or RAM drives in RAID 0 set up. this will completely eliminate the current access time troubles.

as jan said
Anyway, we're going to get just what it takes to get the thing back on track.
 

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Administrator
Joined
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34,872 Posts
actually youll find the site isnt its users... the vast majority of readers on ssc are actually not even registered members.
 

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Registered
Joined
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11,863 Posts
actually youll find the site isnt its users... the vast majority of readers on ssc are actually not even registered members.
Yes but if its users dont post anything then there wouldn't but much for the the non registered members to read.

Fair enough a lot is done on shoestring & we take a lot off it for granted about the running of this site but you must recognise people have valid gripes.It is a continual problem that seems to happen very often.

Perhaps if better communication we given about what was going on instead of a couple of lines about were just backing up the system & will be down for a couple of hours which often is a lot longer & the dreaded 500 server error continues to pop up for days on end.

I think people appreciate technical problems can last a lot longer .Maybe have a sticky thread somewhere of a roadmap for the development of the site or when upgrades are due & going to happen. I think the biggest frustration have is the not knowing how long problems are going to persist. If we had a better idea I would suspect the gripes would be a lot less ( & Skyscraperspage Forum busiest thread wouldn't be soo busy:) )
 

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wind-up merchant
Joined
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15,971 Posts
Yes but if its users dont post anything then there wouldn't but much for the the non registered members to read.

Fair enough a lot is done on shoestring & we take a lot off it for granted about the running of this site but you must recognise people have valid gripes.It is a continual problem that seems to happen very often.

Perhaps if better communication we given about what was going on instead of a couple of lines about were just backing up the system & will be down for a couple of hours which often is a lot longer & the dreaded 500 server error continues to pop up for days on end.

I think people appreciate technical problems can last a lot longer .Maybe have a sticky thread somewhere of a roadmap for the development of the site or when upgrades are due & going to happen. I think the biggest frustration have is the not knowing how long problems are going to persist. If we had a better idea I would suspect the gripes would be a lot less ( & Skyscraperspage Forum busiest thread wouldn't be soo busy:) )
I came up with the idea of having another site on another server so someone can say this is the problem bah bah bah, This is what am doing, hey look heres an image of me taking a sledge hammer to one of the hard drives.
 

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10th February 2008
Joined
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59,949 Posts
I've got a great idea.

Charge the non registered lurkers who don't put anything into the forums a yearly/monthly membership fee. They are the majority who are slowing the site/servers down and causing them to crash due to high traffic, while the minority keep the forums going with daily inputs and posts.

You only get out what you put into something. If the lurkers don't want to contribute, (register or post) then they should have to pay for the 'privilage' of accessing the information and views that the registered forum memebers post on a daily basis.

Just a thought.
 

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wind-up merchant
Joined
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15,971 Posts
If its money they want/need a simple donation page would do the trick but none of the main men have wanted to do that. 10,000 connected at anyone time. If everyone put £0.50 over a week or so(I would btw) you'd have £5k($9-10k). Am pretty sure it wouldn't take long to raise the funds.

and this won't post because that 500 error is coming up
 

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Moderator
Joined
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1,929 Posts
According to websiteoutlook.com the site generates $1,321 a day through adverts, so it really does need the lurkers out there to keep lurking as well as us members to keep posting.

http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.skyscrapercity.com
This is an unreliable source since it assumes more or less the same ads revenue per page displayed (independently of whether it's a forum or normal site). The problem with forums is that the ads don't get clicked as much -- sometimes 100 times less than normal websites. I'd say the revenues of SSC are somewhere around 10-100 times less than 1,321$ per day ;).
 

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10th February 2008
Joined
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59,949 Posts
According to websiteoutlook.com the site generates $1,321 a day through adverts, so it really does need the lurkers out there to keep lurking as well as us members to keep posting.

http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.skyscrapercity.com

It can be quite annoying when it goes offline, especially when other sites you like to visit stop working too, but when it is working it's great.
Is that's correct?

I don't know jack shit about the cost of hosting and running a succesful website, but $470,276 a year should be enough too maintain a stable service shouldn't it?
 

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10th February 2008
Joined
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59,949 Posts
Another thing.

As I've said before, why not delete threads that are either old, no longer relevant or have a very very low post count. Like most forums the Manchester forum is awash with them. The only obstecale to this happening is posters pride at seeing their and their forum post count drop. If it increases the speed and reliability of SSC it's worth doing.
 

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wind-up merchant
Joined
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15,971 Posts
Another thing.

As I've said before, why not delete threads that are either old, no longer relevant or have a very very low post count. Like most forums the Manchester forum is awash with them. The only obstecale to this happening is posters pride at seeing their and their forum post count drop. If it increases the speed and reliability of SSC it's worth doing.
That would take ages, we have over 364,000 threads, you'd have to pick and choose.
 
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