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Staff Blog - Recent new server and software updates - Progress update!

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  • Elders (Moderators)

I think we've nailed all the really annoying things (bugs) since the upgrade now, like links in old posts being broken and reloading the same page instead of showing the actual linked website (all since rebuilt and working okay again).

This latest version of our software framework although more powerful, efficient and feature-laden in a lot of ways, does in some ways use a lot more system resources, something the developers possibly never really made clear (at least I wasn't aware of that and I do keep up to date daily with developments), and despite us moving to a much better web host with a newer more powerful servers and superfast SSD drives, the server resource usage has still been very high which has caused some issues we're trying to resolve.

I've blocked a few IP Addresses in Romania and elsewhere that were hitting the server hard and its helped, and made sure there's a 30 second delay for search bots, but 'bad bots' probably ignore that setting!

There isn't a fully released version of Shoutbox yet, its being rebuilt from the ground up in the developers spare time, but when we installed a recent pre-release candidate version it was hitting the server 50,000 times a day, despite only containing about 10 actual shots per day max and some tweaks applied by the developer. So we had to remove it before our web host suspended our account! Shoutbox may return one day if the developer addresses impact on system resources, and there is another similar program we can try called Chatbox. However, all these types of programs have major resource issues by definition, so it may be we re-install the official IPS Chat app, which runs off an external server. IPS Chat has a 5 user limit on the free version but the main issue is that when you exit the a Chatroom is doesn't keep the old messages visible, like the Shoutbox does. Therefore, when we used to have it installed in the last year or so, it was rarely if ever used as everyone seemed to love the Shoutbox. Perhaps if we charged optional membership subscriptions etc to raise funds, we could possibly pay for a managed VPS Virtual Private Server or even a Dedicated Server, but they are really expensive, and since I'm facing redundancy from work on October 31st, I'm reluctant to commit to that for now.

So for now we're trying to run the board at basic level without any third party add-ons to get a baseline on performance, which is still going way up to 150%-200% of available system resources during peak times of the day, but we're getting there!


As you can see, the chart is coming down over the last month.

I make a change and then see what the effect is over a few days, checking the system logs, so its a bit of a slow process but it could help nail down what's causing it, could be as simple as showing forthcoming calendar events, or latest topics on the main index page etc.

Each software update has seen a boost in system performance too, as well as fixing hundreds of bugs, many of which we never see or experience but I thank you for your patience and I'm please that things are improving and certainly are very stable!

Meanwhile, IB Themes are busy getting the Halloween themes ready, which will brighten up the board again with an autumnal season feel - always the best time of the year to enjoy Millennium if you ask me!

This is who we are.

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