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Wednesday, February 26, 2003

After two nonfat lattes and roz giving up on Metroid Fusion on the GBA SP in the course of a four hour sit at a starbucks I finally got to finish the search skip code I wanted to work on for so long. You've probably noticed that it hasn't always been easy to get on the server in the last few weeks. Arzenik looked at the server box logs today and figured out that the server was turning down connections by the pound because it was running out of processing time. Interestingly enough, we haven't even tickled our bandwidth limit as of yet. Most of this processing time was taken to distribute the many many search requests that go through the server. Here are the specifics: At any given time there are about 350-500 clients connected to the server as decentralized nodes. Whenever the server gets a search request, it hands it over to those 350-500 clients who in turn distribute it to the clients connected to them, and so on until *most* of the clients in the system receive the search request. In the olden days all the clients would receive each search request directly from the server. That became impractical as the system went from hosting dozens of users to hundreds and thousands. The decentralized network solution let us keep growing without worrying about bandwidth and processing power as much. Well, at least until I can get Basil at CIFNet to issue us a CPU upgrade, we've hit that limit again. This is where the search skip thingie comes in, and it's very simple: I can tell the server what the maximum number of distributions per search request is. Right now it's set at a hundred, so even if there are four hundred nodes connected directly to the server, only a hundred get the search request at a time. Each succeeding search request goes to the next hundred nodes. If that sounds as though this seriously limits the number of results you get back, well, it does. But we had to cut back on the distribution range eventually. Even at its prime a Napster server only handled about 8,000 connections. We've hit 50,000. We're seriously considering setting it up so that privileged users don't suffer from search skipping, which should be very easy to implement.

Nir 1:55 AM

Monday, February 24, 2003

belgo took what we tried to do with our website redesign and made it not look like crap. Thank you belgo!
Nir 4:47 AM

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