May. 12, 2009

Server optimization

Back in November of last year, an enthusiastic sports fan started an "Official 10,000 Post Thread to Support the Ravens" on our talkboard. Shortly thereafter, other fans pitched in and did show their support. By the Ravens-Titans game, the said thread exceed 10,000 posts and kept growing.

By around 9 PM that evening, the server cratered and had to be resuscitated. It took approximately ten hours to breathe life into it, as its databases refused to repair.

(Note to geeks: check the size of your /tmp partition and make sure it's 3 x the size of your MySQL database, k thx.)

Anyhow, to prevent the issue from happening again, I set out to optimize the machine (lesson learned: every byte counts). End result was a much smaller memory footprint for an individual rendering.

The 3-D graph on the right shows ~8 MB usage without optimization, and down to 1.5 - 1 MB afterward. Opcode caching FTW!

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