Lady Voldia
 member, 78 posts
 Changed Person
 BTVS fan
Sun 20 Apr 2008
at 06:14
Re: Server Load
raises a glass. Thank you all. This truly is a wonderful site. To you Jase...all I can say is sorry for all I put you through in the past. Hope you can forgive someone who was....a much different person then. I grew up...and appreciate all you did to preserve the integrity of this site. Thank you.
Feyda
 member, 639 posts
 female, 28 yrs old
 Give Peace a Chance.
Sun 20 Apr 2008
at 09:01
Re: Server Load
Jase has indeed done a great job, and I know everyone I know here worth knowing agrees. This is the best game forum I've ever tried, and the mods do a fantastic job too. I think they are gluttons for punishment sometimes, but I respect every one of them, and have never had trouble with any one of the mods or jase here. In fact, if there's ever been trouble, it's always been on my end for mistakes, and never on theirs.

I'm sure the overload trouble has been a major headache for them, and they've been working overtime to fix the problem. I just hope when the move is made, the new company doesn't lose the disc again.
jase
 admin, 1993 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sun 20 Apr 2008
at 11:23
Re: Server Load
The WebHostingTalk Forums are the lovely forums that let us know about the disastrous "hey let's move from one side of the country to the other" relocation that our previous hosts decided to undertake, and by pure luck the same thread also put us in touch with the person who had an extra drive in their equipment; ours.  Why I mention this is because I realised that the forum was a very good source of information and have been utilising it since.  Tranxact (who are part of Global Net Access and Netdepot, or possibly visa-versa) have a good reputation within the forums and with all the options available (especially the good network and buydown options that allow us to lower our monthly payments) they seemed the perfect choice.

Picking a provider from the other side of the world is always a bit tricky, but hopefully I've done my homework.  The migration from our current hosts, ZipServers, will actually be the first properly phased migration we've ever done in our eight years of operations.

And for a small history lesson;
  • 2000-2002.  CiHost shut down our website due to "excessive resource consumption" without providing us any way to see our utilisation beforehand and without any warning they were going to do it.  They also couldn't tell us what we were over-utilising.  They refused to turn our services back on and after about a week I managed to get a copy of the data from them.
  • 2002-2004.  My previous place of employment then hosted RPoL on one of their shared servers, a nice piece of equipment with a redundant array of disks.  The site ran here for two years until a decision was made to move it off to our own server.  The day before the migration was to take place the aforementioned redundant array failed.  Fortunately the data had been replicated to the new server the night before so not much data was lost.
  • 2004-2006.  WebHostingPlus lost our server and so to all the data!  After nearly two weeks our data was found by a WHP client who kindly gave us access to it.
  • 2006-2008.  ZipServers are the only current hosting provider not to have failed us in a major way.  Just another week or so...  hold in there Zip!

LadyAiken
 member, 212 posts
Sun 20 Apr 2008
at 11:36
Re: Server Load
Wow, you certainly spend a lot of time (and money!) on us Jase.

Thank you!
Brianna
 member, 1224 posts
Sun 20 Apr 2008
at 16:25
Re: Server Load
Indeed, thank you, jase!  And yay for word-of-mouth forums!  I expect you've posted there about the issues here?  But for ZipServers, I don't think the problem is with them, is it?  We just outgrew them; they might work fine for a smaller site?
Feyda
 member, 640 posts
 female, 28 yrs old
 Give Peace a Chance.
Sun 20 Apr 2008
at 21:35
Re: Server Load
I'm sure it's probably all our faults out here (Players/GMs) that we grew too big for the server because we love this site so much we've told all our friends, and got them to sign on to play our games or to join games we're in that we love.

I hope we don't outgrow the new server too soon, because the bigger we get, the more hassles there are for the mods and jase too, I'm sure. If the new server gives us room to grow though, I'm sure the move will be well worth it.

Jase and the wonderful crew of mods he has do a wonderful job moderating this site. Dealing with spoiled brats, underaged kids and immature adults must create a bit of stress for them, and they probably have days where they don't even want to think about RPOL and all the bs. I know I sure wouldn't want to do it. GMing a few games and dealing with players is bad enough sometimes when you get one who drives you up the wall. I couldn't imagine dealing with thousands of them; especially the ones who end up on banned lists or the ones with multiple accounts. I give you all Bronze Stars for the bravery you show dealing with moderating here.
Genghis the Hutt
 member, 1415 posts
 AKA Banaticus
Mon 21 Apr 2008
at 22:41
Re: Server Load
The problem with the main menu is that it's pretty much the only way to navigate to a game.  I'll try to just keep the main menu open all the time from now on, never closing it.  That should reduce some small amount of strain on the servers.

Would it be possible to get a reduced front page option?  A sort of "sticky page" main page?
cruinne
 moderator, 4461 posts
 beatings will continue
 until morale improves
Tue 22 Apr 2008
at 01:07
Re: Server Load
Actually, the Main Menu is not the only way to navigate to a game -- there's the pop-up sticky list.

What you describe is what the Pop-Up Sticky List is.  Each page has a "jump" link at the top, and the Main Menu has a "pop up my sticky list" link on it.  Both of these access the (same) pop-up list, which brings up a small window containing just your personal list of games.  This pop-up list can be set to refresh at regular times, and is the less-stress-on-the-server method we keep talking about for accessing game lists.

This message was last edited by a moderator at 01:10, Tue 22 Apr 2008.

Genghis the Hutt
 member, 1417 posts
 AKA Banaticus
Tue 22 Apr 2008
at 04:43
Re: Server Load
So, it looks like I need to keep the Main Page open in order to access the sticky list?  It kept saying, "Window lost" or something like that.  If I need to keep the Main Page open, then it seems like it would conserve even more resources if I just shift-clicked on the games to open them and never used the sticky list.
bigbadron
 moderator, 9263 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Tue 22 Apr 2008
at 04:53
Re: Server Load
It's refreshing the Main Page that puts a load on the server.  Keeping it open, without refreshing it, has little effect, which is where the popup Sticky List comes in.

Shift-clicking will work, but without the Sticky List to tell you when you have new posts, you won't know if it's worth opening up the game until you've opened up the game.
Zeldi Emberclan
 member, 1095 posts
 I'm a cat, my owner
 is Teyla Emmagan
Tue 22 Apr 2008
at 04:56
Re: Server Load
there is also the use of live feeds as well for the main menu, which is, in fact same thing as the normal main menu so it works out OK, those of us with the newst version of IE (i myself am using IE 8.0 beta) there is a little "feeds" button next to the homepage button that when clicked takes me right to the new updates via the feed itself, rather then refreshing.

I use it almost all the time now. It works.
Genghis the Hutt
 member, 1419 posts
 AKA Banaticus
Tue 22 Apr 2008
at 05:44
Re: Server Load
Holy cow, I just clicked the orange button that I'd never noticed before and it brought up a page asking, "Do you want to add this to your Google Reader account" and I said, "Sure!"  Wow.
Genghis the Hutt
 member, 1420 posts
 AKA Banaticus
Tue 22 Apr 2008
at 05:47
Re: Server Load
patsen29:
Considering the main sources of the major bandwidth hogs, consists of page refreshing, would it be beneficial to look into AJAX to soften that load?

If we used Ajax, the main page could be like a sticky page -- blueing or purpling text as appropriate.  Then we wouldn't have to have a seperate sticky window popup.  I guess I should head over to the beta site to discuss how to code this?
jase
 admin, 1994 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 22 Apr 2008
at 06:20
Re: Server Load
Ignoring all the other problems porting to Ajax would cause, Ajax only saves on reloading the static content.  The only thing that really stays static on RPoL is the logo in the top left, everything else generally changes from page to page.  Even if the links in the bars were made uniformed it doesn't solve the problem that the majority of the data that RPoL sends is dynamically rendered, namely the main menu (people can add or remove games at any time, the post count can change, so to can the post date, game title, etc) and the heavily load pages I mentioned before; the game menu, the thread display screen and the compose screen (which, if you pause to consider it, you will realise has the last 5 posts at the bottom of it, ergo a mini thread display).

The majority of bandwidth consumed by RPoL (and major cause of resource usage on the back-end) is the threads.  Ajax can offer little benefit here and I think a careful approach to our resource problems needs to be taken, not just blindly implementing the latest web craze.

This message was last edited by admin at 06:21, Tue 22 Apr 2008.

Genghis the Hutt
 member, 1422 posts
 AKA Banaticus
Wed 23 Apr 2008
at 00:53
Re: Server Load
Leaving the Main Page up and shift-clicking from it is a difficult habit to take up.  I'm used to, "going into a game, checking a thread or two, back to the Main Page, going into a different game, checking a thread or two, back to the Main Page, going into a different game, checking a thread or two, back to the Main Page, rinse, lather, repeat as necessary."
Yoss
 member, 695 posts
 A Serious Waste of Time
 In the Strategy section
Wed 23 Apr 2008
at 02:01
Re: Server Load
It is also made slightly harder because RPOL does not force links to open new windows.  While I agree with the policy, it does not help the server load problem.
cruinne
 moderator, 4466 posts
 beatings will continue
 until morale improves
Wed 23 Apr 2008
at 03:23
Re: Server Load
Using the pop-up sticky list really does resolve this.  Give it a try.  Pop it up.  As Ghengis noted, you do need to leave the main window open -- links clicked in the pop-up window open in its source window.

But soon, you may well wonder why you didn't always use it.
The MooCow
 member, 7 posts
Thu 24 Apr 2008
at 02:35
Re: Server Load

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was off-topic, at 18:38, Thu 24 Apr 2008.

Lady Voldia
 member, 87 posts
 Changed Person
 BTVS fan
Sun 27 Apr 2008
at 00:48
Re: Server Load
Yeah, for sticky list. Seriously this is the way to go. I love it and it's how I do most games. If I want to check what else is out there I'll browse the rest but for the most part I go sticky and it not only helps on server...it's quick and easy too.
Feyda
 member, 641 posts
 female, 28 yrs old
 Give Peace a Chance.
Sun 27 Apr 2008
at 02:10
Re: Server Load
Would deleting unused and archived threads help any? I know lots of games with just 2 active threads, and maybe 4 or 5 pages of unused/closed or archived threads that still show up when you open the game.
cruinne
 moderator, 4470 posts
 beatings will continue
 until morale improves
Sun 27 Apr 2008
at 02:43
Re: Server Load
Only if the old, large threads are used, as in people are loading and reading them often.  If the threads sit there, then no, they're not a problem (serving pages is the problem it seems, not storing them).

This message was last edited by a moderator at 02:43, Sun 27 Apr 2008.

Genghis the Hutt
 member, 1428 posts
 AKA Banaticus
Thu 1 May 2008
at 12:14
Re: Server Load
So, I'll navigate to rpol.net and the main page loads.  Let's say it loads in Window G.  I popup the sticky list and it's tied to Window G.  I see what the sticky list says and click a link in it and the sticky list changes what is displayed in Window G from the main page to a game.  But since Window G no longer shows the main page, the sticky list closes.  At this point, I have no way of navigating from the one game to a different game without going through the main page again.

The only method I've found of having success with the sticky list is to navigate to the main page, popup the sticky list, then ignore the links in the sticky list and shift-click on the links in the main page to open those games in a new window, leaving the main page and sticky list untouched.

Are other people experiencing the same thing?  When the sticky list changes Window G from the main page to a game, does the sticky list remain open for you all?
bigbadron
 moderator, 9275 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Thu 1 May 2008
at 12:29
Re: Server Load
quote:
I have no way of navigating from the one game to a different game without going through the main page again.
Actually, yes, you do have a way to navigate from within a game without going through the Main Page.

Clicking on the "Jump" link (top right corner, close to the FAQs and Help links) will open the popup Sticky List from inside a game.
cruinne
 moderator, 4481 posts
 beatings will continue
 until morale improves
Thu 1 May 2008
at 12:35
Re: Server Load
> But since Window G no longer shows the main page, the sticky list closes

No, not if you uncheck the box at the bottom of the Sticky List for "Close on Select".  As long as Window G exists and is on RPoL, the Sticky List will work.  If you remove the check in the box for "Close on Select" the sticky list window won't close when you click a link.

> At this point, I have no way of navigating from the one game to a different game without going through the main page again.

Again, no.  Each page has a "Jump" link on it, as I mentioned above in post #29.  This will also pop up your Sticky List and allow you to navigate to a new game without returning to the Main Menu.


Edit:  Ooo, Ron beats me!

This message was last edited by a moderator at 12:37, Thu 01 May 2008.

Genghis the Hutt
 member, 1430 posts
 AKA Banaticus
Thu 1 May 2008
at 22:23
Re: Server Load
This is amazing!  Thanks. :)