This board is ridiculously fast loading?

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Virtuality
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This board is ridiculously fast loading?

Post by Virtuality »

Seriously, 626 users online at the moment, and I've never experienced a phpBB board being this snappy. It loads new pages already before I've had time to click the link!

Is there any possibility to get to know any info on what hardware area51 is currently running on? Because I mean, phpBB.com is down and the site should be dragging a lot of traffic, and still it's this fast - I'm really impressed.
Or any special optimization done server-side?

Thanks for any info. :)
"phpBB3 is never late. Nor is it early. It arrives precisely when it means to."
BartVB
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Re: This board is ridiculously fast loading?

Post by BartVB »

area51.phpbb.com is running on a pretty low powered server. It's a vserver and the host is a mere Athlon 64 3700+ (2.2Ghz) with 3GB of ram and some SATA disks. This box also runs code.phpbb.com, http://www.phpbb.nl, static.bokt.nl (80 hits/sec), NFS for http://www.bokt.nl and some smaller sites/services.

It's just plain vanilla Debian with APC cache installed. The main thing (I guess) is the fact that it's a board with a lot of concurrent users but a relatively low amount of posts in the DB.
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Virtuality
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Re: This board is ridiculously fast loading?

Post by Virtuality »

BartVB wrote:area51.phpbb.com is running on a pretty low powered server. It's a vserver and the host is a mere Athlon 64 3700+ (2.2Ghz) with 3GB of ram and some SATA disks. This box also runs code.phpbb.com, http://www.phpbb.nl, static.bokt.nl (80 hits/sec), NFS for http://www.bokt.nl and some smaller sites/services.

It's just plain vanilla Debian with APC cache installed. The main thing (I guess) is the fact that it's a board with a lot of concurrent users but a relatively low amount of posts in the DB.
Thanks a lot for your speedy and informative reply! Interesting read indeed.

I think this is very impressing, I guess it proves how optimized phpBB3 really is.

So a large DB with a lot of posts makes the board generally slow? How's that? I understand for search and such, but just normal browsing and posting? I'm sure you're right, I just want to understand a bit more about the technics behind it all. :)
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BartVB
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Re: This board is ridiculously fast loading?

Post by BartVB »

It doesn't make it slow, it makes is slower :D It's mostly that a large DB has larger indices which requires (a lot) more memory in de DB server which puts a higher strain on the I/O subsytems of the DB. It's also quite a bit more work to sort 800.000 topics than it is to sort 800 topics. Quite a bit of slowdowns because of DB size can be solved by adding the proper indices but this doesn't work for all cases and adding indices also increases overhead (a little bit) when adding data to the database. Another problem is the posts table, it's virtually impossible to keep the whole posts table cached on a large site which leads to a LOT of diskseeks if a visitor (or bot) views an old topic. Locality within the posts table also decreases sharply if the number of posts increases. I.e. on this board there are 700 posts between your first and last post in this topic. On a larger board that could easily be 7000 or 70.000 posts which means that the harddisks have to work much harder. The DB for the area51 forum is something like 120MB which easily fits into RAM.
I Hate oversized sigs and Love Penguins :D
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