New Design

We’re testing out a new design where the webserver that feeds our site does not house the database of the site, but rather the old webserver that fed this site and its database is now only feeding the database.

Following along so far?

When a page is requested, this webserver calls out to the database webserver for the data and then assembles the page in real-time. The idea is to distribute the load as both of these servers are identical in horsepower. One does the web serving and the other is free to handle database queries.

Ideally these two servers would be on a gigabit private network so they can talk with each other at a faster speed than the outside world is requesting to be fed.

It’s not exactly as clean as I’m stating it because the old webserver is still serving up directly (in addition to the new webserver) because DNS propagation will take all weekend. At the point when the old server is no longer serving up any requests, we’ll shut down web services on the old web server forcing queries to come to the new web server. For a very brief time, our site will be pseudo load balanced by two webservers feeding from one central database.

For the folks we let down over the past 2 days, we’re very sorry. Know that we’re doing everything we can to rebuild our site so that it returns to high-speed for again.


Glenn Prialde writes:


Are your doing a cluster? Or just a plain dedication of services to separate the load.


Comment provided May 6, 2005 at 11:39 PM




We’re testing a separation between the web server and the database server. Our bottleneck seems to be the database server. We’re testing combinations of which services are on which services until we get it right.

This site is currently being served up by two dedicated servers, each of them are dual 2.8Ghz machines with 2GB ram. In addition, a 3rd server does DNS and a 4th one runs the email lists.

It’s been a tough couple of days but I think our next step will be to introduce a disproportionately huge quad CPU or 64 bit CPU machine on a private network that will run the database component.

Suddenly, this became a very expensive project…:)

Comment provided May 7, 2005 at 9:33 AM


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