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  • [Forum] What's the bottle neck?

    I'm developing a rather large forum. There are 700+ category/forums each with 5-7 subforums.

    The system build is 3 servers with dual dual core 2.7 Ghz processors with 8 Gb RAM and Raid drives. Front-end, db and an attachment servers.

    Looking at TOP it shows that the server load for any server has never gone above Server Load 0.50 (4 CPUs) and that I am using less than 20-25% of the RAM and 0 swap.

    Other information:
    PHP Max Post Size 128.00 MB
    PHP Maximum Upload Size 128.00 MB
    PHP Memory Limit 128.00 MB
    MySQL Packet Size 256.00 MB
    cPanel PHP max execution time 2880 sec ?
    cPanel PHP max POST size 128 MB
    cPanel PHP max upload size 128 MB
    default_socket_timeout 240 sec
    mysql.connect_timeout 240 sec

    Right now there are no post, attachments or graphics.
    Sever is on a dedicated 100 Mbs port, not shared.
    Using a private 100 Mb Cisco switch between servers.

    It is taking forever to load. Is it the software itself or something else? Any thoughts?

    http://www.ampforum.com/forums/forum.php
    Last edited by AnalogTubes; Sun 13th Mar '11, 4:25pm.

  • #2
    That page is HUGE! I think you'll need to come up with another way to organize your content. Most often community admins start with a small (5 or so) set of forums so traffic is focused and then expand as needed.

    The rest of the site moves along good. Clicking in a given forum or on the blogs. That leads me to the number of forums you're pulling. The server setup would crumble with any amount of traffic with this number of forums.
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    • #3
      I'm not sure how that can be done as we need to have all of the manufactures with their own forum.

      A question on how vbulletin works and possible mod:

      If we took http://www.ampforum.com/forums/content.php and placed the alphabet list from the top of of the forums and also put a list/table of the manufactures name with a link to that manufacturer forum would VBulletin still try to load the entire forum everytime even if say someone selected A or Ampeg from the list?

      I'm thinking this may save loading the entire forum if someone is looking for information on a specific manufacture.

      Any thoughts?

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      • #4
        Honestly I would avoid any forum that had so many forums. It's just not worth my time in this day and age to wait so long for a forum home page to open. If you want to be successful, you willk need to find a better way to handle this. Good luck.
        Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Steve Machol View Post
          Honestly I would avoid any forum that had so many forums. It's just not worth my time in this day and age to wait so long for a forum home page to open. If you want to be successful, you willk need to find a better way to handle this. Good luck.
          Not to be rude, but not exactly what I'd call a support response. Do you have anything you can add that would help resolve the issue or answer post #3?

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          • #6
            Took forever to render in browser (faster with opera turbo, but still), and it seems there was only 1 user online, so a table lock is unlikely. If that was the case, looking at your the database engines used first would be a start.

            Perhaps undisplaying (not removing) subcategories on the forum index could be a start. The index wheights over an entire megabyte, for buddha's sake.
            Is output gzipped? ccs/attachments stored in filesystem? Caching set?
            The apache module modspeed could be worth using since you got high specs (better than just gzipping html, php and js).
            Last edited by Leadcrow; Sun 13th Mar '11, 6:49pm.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AnalogTubes View Post
              Not to be rude, but not exactly what I'd call a support response. Do you have anything you can add that would help resolve the issue or answer post #3?
              Sorry, you are right. What I meant to say was that reefland was right. He needs to reduce the number of forums if he wants a serious chance of getting viewers and members.
              Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
              Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

              Steve Machol Photography


              Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


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              • #8
                I might recall having seen a vb mod that allows you to hide such an enormous number of lettered sections as refreshless pages.

                Not sure itd help with the load since the issue is with the html size itself. gzip and modspeed would be your best bets here.

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                • #9
                  I would opt for the "tab mod" that would allow you to only show a select number of forums on your forumhome page.
                  might check out
                  http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=233135
                  or
                  http://www.provb.org/showthread.php?t=654
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                  • #10
                    Since it appears vb will not work for a project of this size, and I can always use the vb license for some other projects, can anyone suggest a commercial package that is written to handle this type of project?

                    Or
                    I thinking maybe something like this instead. Have a front-end server with links to the forums. Split the forums among several different servers. As an example server #1 would have manufactures A-C, server #2 would have D-F, so on. Could vb software be integrated to do something like that? So in esscence there would really be several different fourms masked as a single forum,
                    Last edited by AnalogTubes; Mon 14th Mar '11, 3:25am.

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                    • #11
                      Its possible, but hell if I could elaborate on how to set that (might be a mod). Itd still be relatively pointless compared to what youre looking to achieve.

                      The heavy html for such a huge index is an issue youll find for competitors too.
                      Not even supercomputers will make that index load any faster on anyone's highpowered machine.

                      If you resolutely want the index to stay as it is, compressing output is the only way. mod_speed should yield the most significant gains (just done enable all filters just for the sake of it), but even before that you should have evaluated how better the situation is with mere gzipping.
                      That Opera Turbo sufficed to make the index load very fast shouldve been proof enough of where the bottleneck was.

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                      • #12
                        I have to agree with reefland & Steve, to many forums IMO. Personally I would create these forums:
                        • Manufactures Introduction
                        • Manufactures Announcements
                        • Historic information
                        • Amp Discussion
                        • Tech Talk
                        • Show Us Your Rig!
                        • Let's Hear it

                        And then add all the manufactures as prefixes. You can always add more forums as you grow.

                        I currently only have 36 forums (includes sub-forums), however I'd originally planned on adding a bunch more, especially in the regional sections. But after reading a lot of threads on this subject, I decided against it and I'm glad I did.

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                        • #13
                          To clarify what the bottleneck is, it is the browser rendering 762 KB of information on one page. This is after the server compresses the output generated. The browser has to decompress it, render the page and show it on the screen. That will take time.

                          There are a couple of addons that might simplify this over at www.vbulletin.org but they aren't supported. I suggest simplifying the HTML used to encase each forum to lower amount of HTML needed. I'd also remove subforums from showing on the front page by setting that value to 0 and only show the first level of forums. If the load time is still too large, I'd look into reconfiguring the Forum Home page into a grid pattern of Manufacturer names without them being surrounded by the heavy forum information.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dirt Bike Addict View Post
                            I have to agree with reefland & Steve, to many forums IMO. Personally I would create these forums:
                            • Manufactures Introduction
                            • Manufactures Announcements
                            • Historic information
                            • Amp Discussion
                            • Tech Talk
                            • Show Us Your Rig!
                            • Let's Hear it
                            And then add all the manufactures as prefixes. You can always add more forums as you grow.

                            I currently only have 36 forums (includes sub-forums), however I'd originally planned on adding a bunch more, especially in the regional sections. But after reading a lot of threads on this subject, I decided against it and I'm glad I did.
                            This shows my lack of understanding of vb. If I only have those 7 forums but then have prefixes (which I don't understand what that is) it should then work?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AnalogTubes View Post
                              If I only have those 7 forums but then have prefixes (which I don't understand what that is) it should then work?
                              The less forums you have to start out with the better, especially on a brand new forum. You have to remember that when most forum users see a page full of empty sections they'll move on as it looks like there's no activity. If you can find a way to organize your content (manufacturers in your case) in less forums, it'll look better and should promote more activity.

                              A thread prefix is just what it sounds like, it's a bit of predetermined text that is placed in front of the thread title. You can also set it up so that every thread is required to have one, much like vB has in this very section. Click here for in example.


                              Prefixes are setup here:
                              AdminCP > Thread Prefixes

                              Add them to your forums here.
                              AdminCP > Forums & Moderators > Forum Manager > edit the forum you want to add the prefix list to > Select it under the Enable / Disable Features section > Select Require Threads to have a Prefix if you so wish


                              One thing that is lacking in the default vB is click-able prefixes, which allows you to click on a certain prefix (or in your case manufacture) and only have those threads show. Fortunately Lynne was kind enough to create a mod for that, which can be found here.
                              http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=230906


                              More info about prefixes can be found here. http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/thread_prefixes

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