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GreenReaper

Slow and steady wins the race - as long as you stay fast!

Well, wasn't that an interesting month? Aside from the DDoS itself, we got a burst of traffic from downed sites. Our current server is quite able to handle this, but we found a few things to tweak so that we're even better prepared for the next traffic spike.

For the curious, here's the graphs. You can also see our growth in 2014 - as a relatively mature site, we're quite happy to see steady gains of ~20-30% over last year - and I expect our members are, too!

In detail: we decreased activity on our visitor-tracking database, cut/buffered log writes, shrunk sessions, and moved them off the hard disk array. Switching to binary serialization helped; we also saved over 1GB just by reducing the depth of our session tree. All those directories add up!

Our read/write for hard disk and SSD arrays are now 1MB/0.5MB/sec and 0.1MB/2.5MB respectively; utilization is ~15-35% and 1-10%. (It's good to have headroom to cope with sudden bursts of traffic.)

A shout out to
Salmy
Salmy
for his continued work on FA2IB, which has helped hundreds of artists, writers and commissioners to back up their work in the past couple of weeks; most notably, it now detects references to users who have Inkbunny accounts. We're not looking to replace FA - for a start, our age and content limits differ - but it's good to be prepared in case one site is temporarily unavailable.

These aren't the only changes made over the last few months. We're now using huge pages with our databases; we've made several security upgrades; improved the speed of search, submissions and keyword updates; and trimmed headers for each page we send.

We're not planning major infrastructure changes, as we've done quite well with what we have, and expect it to handle future growth in the mid-term. That said, our hosting costs run to almost $4000/year - so, as always, my thanks to our donors for keeping the disks spinning.
Viewed: 1,054 times
Added: 3 years, 2 months ago
 
Grimster101
3 years, 2 months ago
So glad to see Inkbunny growing in a very good way!

Keep up the great work all of you =] You'll always have my support if Inkbunny stays in this direction of having a wonderful community, wonderful staff and overall, a pleasant looking website thats speedy and works well <3
Zapthechu
3 years, 2 months ago
Thanks for all the effort to keep the site up and full of life <3
Tycloud
3 years, 2 months ago
I should buy a bunny and name it Ink. XD
Lyserdigi
3 years, 2 months ago
..Then i shall buy a fox and name him Ty....
and he will hunt your bunnies butt...
<.<
fryhop
3 years, 2 months ago
hahahah x3
ralesk
3 years, 2 months ago
Nice summary, always fun to read these things :)

Any reason why igbinary was chosen in particular over other serialisation formats?  Not that I'd know too many, but there's for example msgpack that I've heard of.
GreenReaper
3 years, 2 months ago
I'll be honest: I was unaware of msgpack until you mentioned it. It looks to be as fast, or faster, in most cases, however it may not be as space-efficient for the type of data we use. Would have to test it out.

As it is, igbinary provided significant space savings, although they'd be greater if we stored sessions in a memory-based cache (downsides: loss on reboot for memcached; greater complexity for redis). Theoretically we could also repartition with 2k blocks and fit twice as many sessions in now!
ralesk
3 years, 2 months ago
Well, I guess as long as you store non-critical data in memcached, it's okay if it's lost on reboot :)

But yeah, same — I was not aware of the igbinary thing either until now :)
GreenReaper
3 years, 2 months ago
Well, that's the thing - how critical is a session? It's not the end of the world if people get logged out, but it's annoying, and could mean fewer submissions, comments, etc. We do reboot every few weeks (like this morning!) to apply kernel security patches.
ralesk
3 years, 2 months ago
Well, good point.  But planned reboots can include saving the volatile data to disk and recovering the state afterwards (although I also have no experience with memcached, no idea if it's possible to do this).  With unexpected reboots, well, that's another thing anyway :D
GreenReaper
3 years, 2 months ago
I'm not sure they can for sessions, unless you kept an index of the sessions - that's where redis comes in, because it has the ability to persist to disk - but it has a different way of handling memory (i.e. not slab-allocated) which I think is more likely to result in fragmentation. Also, it might be a little bit overkill for a simple key-value store.
ralesk
3 years, 2 months ago
Yup, true :)
fryhop
3 years, 2 months ago
is the ddos still going on or is it over?
GreenReaper
3 years, 2 months ago
I'm not aware of any DDoS against our site or any other furry site at this time, although FA had issues with thumbnail generation/CDN response time today (which could be due to any number of reasons).
Muddog007
3 years, 2 months ago
Awesome stuff as always!
Sho
Sho
3 years, 2 months ago
Thanks for the continued maintenance to stay ahead of the curve. Glad to see the overall growth, I'm curious if the negative stigma has finally passed.
GreenReaper
3 years, 2 months ago
The stigma will continue until the beatings improve! Oh, wait…

Most artists make rational decisions about getting their art to those who will appreciate it (and request commissions that they want to do) in the limited time available. Likewise, most visitors make rational decisions about where to spend their time - where they will find the art and community that they desire. As we grow, more and more people are finding that Inkbunny is a rational place to spend their time.

There will always be some who do not share Inkbunny's ideals, or who dislike some of what we host, but I do not think this is a sticking point for most people. We have simply not been big enough, lacked enough of the art they enjoyed, etc. In a way, we were fortunate to get any audience in our early years. We could so easily have ended up as another technically competent but practically irrelevant art site.
DizziMorhlis
3 years, 2 months ago
Thanks for providing such a damn fine platform for us to connect and share!
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