Why is this message board so *agonizingly* slow?

I live in Chicago, (which I believe is the same area as the server for this board) and I access this board from two different Chicago access providers, both broadband connections. It pings fine, and the traceroute show no problems, so I don’t think it’s my connection. I sometimes wait several minutes for a message thread to open. It’s so long, I’m surprised my browser doesn’t time out waiting for it. This is a consistent problem.

Is anyone else experiencing this? What’s the straight dope?

It’s busy and hamsters can only go so fast.

This goes in About the Message Boards.

I experience this at times also…i was just wondering about posting a message myself to see if anyone else had the same problem

extreemly frustrating but I guess it’s to be expected with a busy board

My take on the SDMB & its patrons: Do you want it fast or do you want it right?

Pings are answered by the edge router at the Chicago Reader. This device has nothing better to do than make sure packets go where they’re supposed to go. Your page requests, on the other hand, are asking the web sever to do a lot of grunt work:

  1. Validate your user name and password
  2. Make sure you’re not a banned member
  3. Look for the page you’ve requested
  4. Build the page for you
  5. Check to see if any posters who responded are on your ignore list, so it can edit them out.
  6. Add banners, pictures, ads, etc.
  7. Deliver the page to you.

And that’s just a view a page. Don’t even think about making a post.

both would be nice :wink:

Connect to an SQL database.
Validate it’s password.
Validate host address.
again, validate your user ID.
Find, locate category, thread and post number.

Let’s not forget hardware.

How fast are the harddrives? Are they ATA’s or SCSI’s?
How fast are the ATA’s and/or SCSI’s.
What else run’s on the server?
Processor speed?
Nic speed.
ISP speed, for you and the reader.
Unix or NT based?

And with the amount of users and post here, the tables and files are probably outrageously huge. Any know how big in MB’s, …or GB’s?

Yeah but, there are lots of message boards out there, some of them bigger than this one, and I’ve never experienced the consistency of slowness - it doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is - this place is a real hair-puller. I’ve used Yahoo’s boards, and while there are intermittent problems, you can’t count on them always being slow. :slight_smile:

Well, I guess it depends on their hardware. Slashdot for instance serves 50 million pages a month according to their 2000 figures (that seems a little low actually, since I’ve noticed that even larger sites can now be slashdotted) but they have 5 load-balancing web servers to deal with it. Hardware details are here.

Actually, I prefer the slashcode to this vBulletin because I can view threads as nested and when I go to my user page it shows all my recent posts and tells me if there have been any replies. No chance of the SDMB changing over I suppose? :slight_smile:

Since this is a message about this message board, I’ll move this thread to ATMB.

moderator GQ

You ain’t seen nothing, son.

This board is a feisty miracle now, comapred to its performance a few years ago. I honestly can’t say I have any complaints with its current speed.

Yahoo! is a multi-million dollar business. They’ve probably got T3’s hooked up to their Cisco Gigabit switches and routers. Their server’s probably have like 4 Gigabit nics each. I wouldn’t doubt that they have a couple of Shark DASD’s either. I don’t think the SDMB has all that fancy equipment.

Basically, the SDMB has great content and it’s free, so it’s a victim of its own success. See the well-known design guideline - “Pick only two of these three options: good, cheap, fast.”

The subject has been discussed extensively. Search www.boardreader.com including the keyword “straightdope” for more info. Or use the search function here.


jdavis is our technical god.

So the solution is hooked up to the same hamster wheel? :wink:

Must be a big hamster wheel to stretch to the UK!
Mind you I am a tad further away so expect some delays :smiley: