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Vanilla Forums COO [GitHub, Twitter, About.me]
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Or host with us
Or host with us
Care to briefly extoll the virtues of your hosting packages? It's kind of like WordPress.com, right? Where we don't have FTP access, but everything is sort of taken over and made to run smoothly by the "powers that be"?
@DanielSchulzJackson That's the idea. We have spent a great deal of time tweaking both Vanilla and our hardware and software infrastructure to ensure that it is fast. Everything from memory caching, to CDNs, to ensuring that the available plugins are well coded. You'd be surprised at how big of a performance impact even 1 badly coded plugin can have.
Here's a more in-depth explanation of how we handle hosting:
Our forums reside on custom built hosting clusters containing many servers, not just one. This allows us to efficiently scale our resources based on the load our forum exerts. Each cluster starts with two loadbalancers. Only one is used at a time, while the other one monitors the first in real time, ready to take over in case of a failure of any kind. This is called "Hot Failover", and it helps keep our forums running even when something goes wrong.
When the active loadbalancer receives a request, it forwards it to one of the cluster's web nodes. There are always at least 2 nodes in any cluster, and the loadbalancers monitor them in real time so that if any of them go down they are immediately removed from the pool and their requests are redirected to other nodes. This is far superior to a single dedicated server because it allows our traffic (and hardware risk) to be spread over many different systems and benefit from the resulting structural resilience. As our forum grows, we add additional web nodes to compensate for the extra traffic. This is done seamlessly without requiring downtime or hardware changes. Again, far superior to hosting on a single dedicated server.
We have an advanced monitoring system custom built for Vanilla Forums that keeps track of each server within each cluster. This allows us to react extremely quickly when things go wrong, and to compensate for changes in traffic within minutes. The monitoring system continuously evaluates the 'health' of each cluster and recommends changes to the configuration (adding, removing servers) depending on current load and trends.
I don't use Vanilla's hosting options myself, but I've heard great feedback from the people who use the Vanilla servers, such as phenomenal up-time, speed, and support.
Great answer Tim,
I didnt see any info about firewall ?
Nice to see you back too,
@422 Obviously all the systems are heavily firewalled to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, software acting as a service daemon (like mysql, memcached, etc) are all configured to accept connections only from within the Vanilla network.
But @DanielSchulzJackson was only asking about speed, so I didn't include that information.
firewall would be a speed impediment, but a necessary one
I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.
Cheers, i was eeking out the virtues of going hosted with you guys. As its often the question most noobs never ask.
Thanks for all the input, Lord Of Servers etc!
Guilty confession - I'm a customization fiend. I understand that's the key limitation of the hosted options, just as it is with most instances of wordpress.com service.
Example: Our site is very pinterest-oriented. Lots of young moms learning how to parent. So I want fileupload with pinterest-dimensions output, and 2 different "pin it" buttons, along with facebook "like" and nothing else.
Tough to do that on hosted, no?