Friday | March 28, 2003
I wasn't hacked. I didn't get a visit from John Ashcroft. I didn't even run out of bandwidth. Nope. Rather, the comment boards were so overloaded they brought down my entire server.
You see, comments are stored in a database, and "dynamically" generated every time you open the comments window. The longer the comment threads got, the more processing power it takes to generate that window.
Compounding the problem, I used a rickitty database -- the "default" model used for low-end applications. It works fine for most blogs, but it was too inefficient to handle long threads called up by thousands of hourly vsitors.
So, to make the site more crash proof we have done a couple of things. I migrated all my site data to a better, more robust database. That should help take some processing stress off the server, as well as serve things faster for you folks. My hosting provider, who is awesome (email me if you want more info), has been working throughout the night to get my current server back up and migrate me soon to a less crowded server.
"Less crowded"? Yes. I host my sites in a shared server -- containing probably dozens of other sites. The advantages are that it cuts down dramatically on hosting costs. When this site was smaller that was ideal. Now, not so ideal. So I'll be moved to a server with fewer sites on it, and I'm also investigating the possibility of getting my own "dedicated" server, hosting my sites only. While that's the ideal solution, it's also the most expensive. I'll see if I can make it work.
Thanks so much for everyone that has been donating. That money will come in handy as I shore up the technological foundation of the site.
I can't say how much longer the comments will be down. Some things are completely out of my control. But I thank each and every one of you for your continued patience.
Update: I AM getting a dedicated server. Though it'll be a ten-fold increase in hosting costs, it'll be well worth it. But expect some possible downtime as my sites are all moved to the new box over the next 48 hours.
Here's hoping it all goes smoothly.Posted March 28, 2003 01:10 PM