Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by Tim Webb
The site swapped to entirely new servers last night! There were some issues, but I've been able to fix them as I find them. Big thanks to pantsofdeath for being my beta tester and alerting me to a big bug. Most people will hit errors and not report them. I'm begging you: Please report any bugs you find! Don't assume I know about it. As of right now I am aware of no bugs on the site. Seriously, please tell me if you find one!
Throughout its life discchord has resided on several hosting platforms. Initially it was just a simple Squarespace v5 blog. When I decided to write my own CMS this meant I had to get proper hosting, but I was pretty spoiled by Squarespace's reliability. I thought I'd find similar reliability on the mighty Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, especially for the price. I was mistaken. I got a very good deal on the web hosting from PythonAnywhere (a Managed AWS web host), but the database hosting from mLab (a Managed AWS database host) that went with it was quite expensive and not at all reliable. This site has a very large database of comments, articles, apps. It's not quite "Big Data" but it's hefty, and growing.
I'm just about to launch AppKaiju, my AppShopper killer. During its development I needed an even larger database that would include all of the apps on the App Store. mLab was going to charge me a kidney for a database of that size, so I decided to set out on my own. This turns out to have been a great move. I migrated discchord's database on to the new server cluster, along with AppKaiju's insane database size, and still have plenty of space left to grow. That was 7 months ago. It has been much more reliable than mLab/AWS!
For the last few weeks I've noticed some performance issues on the discchord webserver in the morning while I'm trying to write articles. This is simply you guys coming here because you know the schedule and you're coming to see what's new. There are a lot of you, so that was beginning to overwhelm the PythonAnywhere (AWS) server. I had two options: ask you all to stop coming to the site because you're slowing it down, or upgrade the server. Yesterday I went with the latter.
And the new site is so fast! Holy shit! Go click around and see how fast it loads! This new server is running a faster processor from the one I had at PythonAnywhere, and it is in the same room as the DB cluster. I'm so excited! discchord is my baby. Right now my baby is very healthy and I'm 100% responsible for its care. No more managed hosting or middlemen. I am solely responsible for maintaining all the servers that run the site. This is incredible to me, because 4 years ago I couldn't do any of this. I couldn't write backend, I knew nothing about databases, and I definitely wouldn't know the first thing about running a cluster of Linux servers.
Now I'm a full-fledged DevOp. As with music making, it was simply a matter of dedicating the time to practice.