4 Engine Planes

A decade or more ago, aviation folks were studying whether it was safer to fly with 2 engines or 4 on a plane. The thinking was that 4 engines were better than 2 because then you could lose 75% of your power and still fly or land safely. Years later, they learned a valuable lesson: 4 engines are twice as likely to break than 2 engines… meaning, if you have 4 engines instead of 2, you just increased the number of engines that can fail. Today, it’s widely known that 2 engine planes are safer than 4 engine planes because there are 2 less engines to break, right?

How does this relate to EzineArticles.com you ask?

We’re a 4 engine plane today, webserver wise.

Technically, we’ve got more than that…but that’s what I can share for now. It was a necessary step in our evolution, but the 4 engine plane analogy doesn’t necessary apply to load balanced webservers because of the built in redundancy of an array of servers. Should one die, red rover takes over to send traffic to the rest of the team.

We spent the last 2 months taking a giant step backwards to completely redesign the hardware and software that runs this site… all in the name of SPEED and open new doors to functionality that was not possible previously without a speed sacrifice.

Stirring the pot, so to speak, has caused fragments of confusion, small outages here and there, and a few more expected unplanned consequences of making these improvements until we return to a less bumpy 50k feet flying altitude. Sorry about the consequences of these improvements as they were necessary for this website project to grow.

I do have one question about your current perception of how fast our site is:

Over the past week vs. all of last year or at least the last quarter, have you noticed that surfing EzineArticles.com is

A) Significantly Faster
B) Faster

C) The Same
D) Slower
E) Significantly Slower?


Edward Weiss writes:

C) The Same

I’m using IE on a DSL connection. Seems about the same to me.

Comment provided January 19, 2006 at 11:22 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

One of the things I most remember when I was in the Civil Air Patrol, was something an FAA Examiner once told me. He said never fly over mountain ranges at night in a single engine aircraft unless you are positive you can glide to one side or the other if the engine quits. Having helped in search and rescues as a young man, I remember a few accidents, which I wish I had not seen. But it wakes you up to the realities of life and makes you respect safety. Back up is important and as Arthur C. Clarke explained with fictitious race of aliens ‚¬“The Ramans‚¬ always had triple redundancies. Incase their space ships failed while going across the Universe. Have you noticed that Windows and MS Word also have three ways to get to anything? Do you know why? No wonder kids pick up computer use so easy, they just start clicking stuff and with three ways to get there, they will eventually figure it out.

I have always lived my life like that, calculating each move in advance. Indeed you should have three ways out of any calamity. You need your back up of course and then a failsafe, because accidents and real problems in life are always a comedy of errors. If you study NTSB reports and ‚¬“pilot error‚¬ you will agree. I learned about flying from that.

I feel safer with EzineArticles for that reason, believe me it takes a long time to write and post 3600 articles and if I am going to trust someone with my work, I expect them to feel the same about back-up safety as I do. Think on this in 2006.

Comment provided January 20, 2006 at 6:44 AM


Matthew Keegan writes:

Hi Chris,

Things are slower when surfacing this site. In fact, I regularly get kicked out and have noticed that my statistics are frequently changing [i.e., one moment an article is rated, the next moment it is not].

There have also been times that when I am submitting an article I get tossed and all of my information is lost. Not a big problem, because I write in Word and then cut and paste to your site. Still, it is curious.

Other than that, EzineArticles continues to rock and it is my #1 “go-to” site for article submissions without a doubt.

BTW, I love the aircraft engine analogy…you must be getting ready to get your G550 jet!

Comment provided January 20, 2006 at 6:51 AM


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.