Ok so the last site migration had mixed success as whilst it kept the site up for most, but not all, of you at peak times (but not for me which affected my ability to post to or update the site) it also introduced some issues with the poll system and also some of you may have seen outdated versions of the site when I updated posts.
A lesser person, with just one week left when the site will go under heavy load may have chosen to just accept the issues for one more week and work on them for the next series. But the perfectionist in me wouldn’t allow that.
So the site has moved again and as far as peak times are concerned this should be the final site move the site ever undergoes because frankly it should now be able to cope with anything you guys throw at it.
Previously the site has been hosted on one server which hosts both the content that your web browser receives but also the database content that holds details of the posts, polls, comments and anything else on this site that was changeable. Occasionally it has been hosted on two servers, one for the web content and one for the database.
The problem with this kind of hosting, especially when you guys were placing it under heavy load at peak times around when the spoiler came in was that if either element got overloaded by heavy traffic it would take the whole site down. A single point of failure anywhere on the web server or the database server (if separate) would be enough to break the entire website.
Well no more! At the time of writing this post the site is currently hosted with not 1, not 2 but 4 servers. 2 that your web browser will connect to and 2 for the database that holds the site’s posts and the other dynamic content. So if either server fails the other one will kick in and traffic will be balanced between the servers. And if you overload them all it’s no longer an issue because the site will automatically add in more servers as and when they are needed up to a maximum of 20 (and I can increase that if necessary…… which hopefully it wont be!)
All of which means that the site outages that have been an issue for the last few weeks and occasionally over the last few years should now in theory be a thing of the past! If the site does go down that downtime should only last a matter of seconds before new servers kick in.
I’m sure a lot of you didn’t understand a word of the last few paragraphs so let me explain it a different way. Imagine 10,000 of you are all trying to drive round the M25 at the same time and only one lane is open. That is how the site used to be and it just caused traffic jams and lots of people beeping their horns at each other. However now 4 lanes are open on the M25 which makes driving around it easier for the people already on it. But then another 25,000 of you decide to join the motorway causing more traffic jams. Well no problem as we’ll just open 4 more lanes to make room for them. That’s how the site works now.
The site has been in beta for a couple of days with this new hosting solution as frankly this is a radical change in the hosting environment and I’m amazed that I managed to get it up and running and working in the space of 6 hours on Monday afternoon as I fully expected it to take me weeks/months to get it working but somehow I did it and whilst there’s been one or two kinks to sort out (mainly in my side of the site rather than yours) the site has run well for those of you who helped me test it.
Will the site stay up at the weekend? Only time will tell but I’m more confident it will do than I have been the last few weeks. As far as costs go this setup will be costing me about £150 per month looking at my costs so far however it will only be used for the remaining 2 weeks of this series and then I’ll migrate the site back to a cheaper hosting solution for the off season before migrating it back to this setup for the 2018 series. Thanks to everyone who donated towards my hosting costs. Without you guys this would not have been possible nor would the last change of hosting.
If you want to help me out with the hosting costs, want to buy me a pint or just want to thank me for all my hard work (and whilst I don’t source the spoiler directly most weeks and I freely acknowledge this, I do put a lot of work into this site and my social media channels both when strictly is on and when I do site moves such as this – I’ve been working in every spare moment the last few days to get this new setup running and testing it) you can donate using the button below (paypal will take a cut from all donations using the button) or you can use this link through which paypal will pass all the money to me. Please only consider doing so if you can definitely afford to do so. I don’t want anyone struggling this close to Christmas just because they wanted to help/fund this site! I’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how well the donation button has been used by you guys and your donations have helped to fund site moves such as this.