Author Topic: GUEST ACCESS TO THE SITE'S FORUM DURING MAJOR EVENTS  (Read 20698 times)

Online Chris Bergin

*This thread will be moved around to the top of sections that have a major event.*

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Despite the large volume of people who access the site during big launches and events, our super duper servers - paid for by our super loyal L2 members - can usually cope.

However, as seen during Dragon's troublesome early minutes on orbit during CRS-2 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31195.msg1019736#msg1019736), a massive peak can strain the servers and slow the site down (and even knock the site down for a few minutes, as one solution is to reboot the servers).

It's rare, but per the above example, we were getting hit hundreds and hundreds of times per second by thousands of visitors, and many of those visitors were mashing the refresh like that arcade game Track and Field (remember that? http://tinyurl.com/c3tf9kn ;D). Only mainstream sites that have a room of in-house servers can cope with such demand.

Again, we have very capable servers here thanks to the L2 subscriptions funding them (massive database, good bandwidth, etc - remember, the forum side is heavy bandwidth), but an action we will now take, if we see the forum slowing down, is to move to member only as a temp measure. In other words, stopping guest access to the forum, if only for a few hours.

So IF that is ever required, it's a good idea to make sure you are logged into the forum BEFORE such an action is required. In other words, be logged in for major events.

To gain a membership/login, it's very simple, it's free and it even allows you to post on the threads, etc.

Simply click here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=register and fill out the form (20 second process).

WE DO NOT USE YOUR E-MAIL FOR ANYTHING DODGY. The e-mail you use to register is simply used to send you a confirmation e-mail. It's never sold or passed on or used for anything and only I can see it as admin, no one else. You will get one e-mail and that's it. You do not need to set up a "nospam@me.com" e-mail address to carry out the above process. Using a working e-mail address also means you can set it up for notifications on threads or PMs, only if you wish (it's not default), recover a lost password and even be one step away from it being upgraded to L2. No one has ever been spammed by registering with this site's forum.

Note, once you set up your username and password, your account will be active. You do not have to wait for an e-mail and click an authorization link, etc.

So bottom line is, guests are always welcome here, but to avoid any potential disappointment of losing access to the forum during a major event due to demand, make sure you set yourself up with a membership and be logged in that day.

Online Chris Bergin

This is far less of a concern after our latest servers coped very well with the Cassiope launch, with zero downtime and all the guests still on the forum - via what was the second highest visitation rate since the site begun.

However, I'm keeping this place holder, as we can't foresee what may have during future events, such as the reason we were overloaded during CRS-2 is because everyone pounced on the site when Dragon had its hiccup after staging. So that's an example as to where we would remove guests for a temp period.....and as such it's still best you get yourself a membership.

So, good news. Top notch servers proved their worth on Super Sunday, but always best to avoid disappointment, per the opening post.

Online Chris Bergin

I should update this as that small lull of Cassiope was a one off. We became very, very busy on the following launches and we do need now need to be logged into the forum for around a SpaceX launch.

Again, it's free. No one can see your e-mail (apart from me if I wanted ;) ) and we never, ever sell your e-mail or spam it.

Online Chris Bergin

So DSCOVR attempt 1 was the first test of beefed up servers and they coped well with large demand all the way through the count.

When the talk of a scrub was coming, inside the terminal, the peak (which was occurring as per usual) really spiked - to crazy levels. Slowing us down....although we amazingly stayed up (the servers actually coped), but it was slow loading (forum interface was overloading), causing a bottleneck. Within 30 seconds of seeing that, I had removed guests and we sped back up again.

Mark showed me what the peak looked like - see attachment screenshot.

For attempt 2 we will keep guests on as long as possible to test the latest improvements he installed yesterday. I will - as always - reserve the option to remove guests for a short period if we get bottlenecked, so this is all still in effect.

Offline mheney

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Re: GUEST ACCESS TO THE SITE'S FORUM DURING MAJOR EVENTS
« Reply #4 on: 02/10/2015 03:47 PM »
FWIW, I did get a 500 error about two minutes after the scrub - but it was a one-shot deal.  I reloaded, and the page came up fine.

Online Chris Bergin

Wow. So Mark has really gotten us improved!

We never removed guests throughout this latest launch and we were up and smooth throughout - bar a 30 second timeout (though I was watching real time visitations and people were still getting in during that 30 seconds). Was after the first burn, so we go through the peak nicely!

Looks like we're heading the right way to deal with the massive demand of these events!

Online Chris Bergin

For CRS-7 we were coping very well with very high demand. I simply had to remove guests after the failure as I knew there would be an unprecedented surge - and there was. Site stayed up and strong throughout.

Guests back on soon.

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