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SteveDeFacto

GameDev.net has the most down time of any site I regularly visit.

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A lack of funds in a community of developers. Is it just me or does that sound weird?

I usually don't notice the downtimes, most of them take 5-10m to be resolved.


To be honest, a fundraiser would be too short term of a solution to really have much of an impact on the operation of the site. We cut our costs dramatically in 2011 and have at least stopped accumulating a ton of debt and are paying it down. At one point the interest on our debt was matching our hosting costs, and 2012 was the year we would close shop.

We are trying really hard this year to expand the marketplace - because that seems like an ideal way to fund the site. We do at minimum a 70/30 split with any publisher where the publisher makes the 70% on each item. If that were to be hugely successful we could both thrive as a site AND really help out the artists/musicians out there that have become part of our community. We explored the idea of doing it with software, but a lot of developers have special requirements for generating license keys and tracking active licenses.

Now, our goal is to start working with the thousands of sites out there who are publishing a tutorial here and there and trying to get the best of them either linked to or posted on our site. Right now *anyone* can post an article.. no restrictions. Click on the resources tab and if the 'add article' button is there.. you can easily add articles. We really are a site that cares first and foremost about the information, whether it is the forums, journals, or tutorials. The best way to help the site is to give back to the community with journals or articles.. information sharing is what it's all about. =)

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I could be thinking too far future (or out my butt) but maybe GDNet needs to advertise the Marketplace a bit more or start looking at making Workshops profitable. But I admit that we, the members, probably haven't been doing enough to support you. Plus with an upgrade and technology change at the scope you have done, I don't see the amount or frequency of downtime to be such an issue. By middle of this year, these sorts of things should be nigh eliminated/preventable.

With that said, I'll go buy a GDNet membership....

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If you're running on a standard LAMP stack on a single server, why not go with Amazon Web Services? It's very economical, and you get some incredible features for when crashes do occur (and no service is immune to hardware failures, so it should be planned for).

You could probably run this entire site on one Extra Large sized instance (15GB RAM, quad-core, about 100mbps of available network bandwidth), which including bandwidth, redundant EBS storage, hourly backups to multiple data centers, and so forth would come out below $1,000 per month. If you pay up-front for a "reserved" instance, that price drops considerably. You might even get by with a server half that size, depending on the real site load, which obviously I don't know the details on.

Once everything is up and running, you take an image of the server, and then if you ever need to replace it, you can do so in a matter of 2-3 minutes, plus about 2 more minutes to restore the data partition from a recent backup. The process to upgrade to a larger system if needed is even shorter: stop the instance, change its size, restart it. The whole thing takes 2 minutes at worst.

These days, AWS is even PCI Level 1 compliant, so you can feel free to take credit card payments there.

It's pretty straightforward to get something set up over there, and I'd be happy to help. My company LucidChart is all set up on AWS, so I have pretty solid experience setting up systems there. Let me know if you'd like me to help, I'd be happy to help for free. GameDev helped me out a lot a decade ago, and I'm happy to help back :-)

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If you're running on a standard LAMP stack on a single server, why not go with Amazon Web Services? It's very economical, and you get some incredible features for when crashes do occur (and no service is immune to hardware failures, so it should be planned for).

You could probably run this entire site on one Extra Large sized instance (15GB RAM, quad-core, about 100mbps of available network bandwidth), which including bandwidth, redundant EBS storage, hourly backups to multiple data centers, and so forth would come out below $1,000 per month. If you pay up-front for a "reserved" instance, that price drops considerably. You might even get by with a server half that size, depending on the real site load, which obviously I don't know the details on.

Once everything is up and running, you take an image of the server, and then if you ever need to replace it, you can do so in a matter of 2-3 minutes, plus about 2 more minutes to restore the data partition from a recent backup. The process to upgrade to a larger system if needed is even shorter: stop the instance, change its size, restart it. The whole thing takes 2 minutes at worst.

These days, AWS is even PCI Level 1 compliant, so you can feel free to take credit card payments there.

It's pretty straightforward to get something set up over there, and I'd be happy to help. My company LucidChart is all set up on AWS, so I have pretty solid experience setting up systems there. Let me know if you'd like me to help, I'd be happy to help for free. GameDev helped me out a lot a decade ago, and I'm happy to help back :-)


Honestly, I don't think they are spending $1000/mo right now after hearing how incompetent their hosting service was. I was spending $5/mo and got better service than that.

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Honestly, I don't think they are spending $1000/mo right now after hearing how incompetent their hosting service was. I was spending $5/mo and got better service than that.

Fair enough. That said, AWS seems to give better bang for your buck in almost every category, regardless of budget, at the expense of them expecting you to be able to manage installing and managing your own software on the boxes. For example, a "large" server has 7.5GB of RAM, plus a fairly powerful dual-core processor, and costs about $250/mo for the server. Add 100GB of persistent data storage that is automatically replicated into multiple data centers, and it's an extra $10/mo. Bandwidth is purely metered, and starts at $0.15/GB--so say they do 100GB/mo of bandwidth, and it's another $15. Then say they use snapshots of their data partition as a backup mechanism. Snapshots are incremental, and you only get charged for the size of the incremental backups, so expect another $20-50/mo, depending on how often and deeply the data set changes.

Now say they're only going to run that one server, and they'll be running it 100% of the time. They do a 1-year "heavy utilization" reserved instance. They pay $1105 up front, and that $250/mo bill for the server itself drops down to $57/mo, which brings the per-month amortized cost to (1105 + 57*12) / 12 ~= $150/mo. Add in all the extra little charges, and you're still talking about less than $250/mo total hosting cost.

You can't get a better total deal for $250 anywhere. My $1000 was meant as a ceiling, if they need an extra large server and tons of bandwidth and data storage.

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Honestly, I don't think they are spending $1000/mo right now


Our hosting cost is quite a bit less than $1000/month. I think at $1000/month you could look in the world of cloud hosting at having a load balancer, separate web front-ends, and perhaps a replicated database server.

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[quote name='SteveDeFacto' timestamp='1325966225' post='4900420']
Honestly, I don't think they are spending $1000/mo right now after hearing how incompetent their hosting service was. I was spending $5/mo and got better service than that.

Fair enough. That said, AWS seems to give better bang for your buck in almost every category, regardless of budget, at the expense of them expecting you to be able to manage installing and managing your own software on the boxes. For example, a "large" server has 7.5GB of RAM, plus a fairly powerful dual-core processor, and costs about $250/mo for the server. Add 100GB of persistent data storage that is automatically replicated into multiple data centers, and it's an extra $10/mo. Bandwidth is purely metered, and starts at $0.15/GB--so say they do 100GB/mo of bandwidth, and it's another $15. Then say they use snapshots of their data partition as a backup mechanism. Snapshots are incremental, and you only get charged for the size of the incremental backups, so expect another $20-50/mo, depending on how often and deeply the data set changes.

Now say they're only going to run that one server, and they'll be running it 100% of the time. They do a 1-year "heavy utilization" reserved instance. They pay $1105 up front, and that $250/mo bill for the server itself drops down to $57/mo, which brings the per-month amortized cost to (1105 + 57*12) / 12 ~= $150/mo. Add in all the extra little charges, and you're still talking about less than $250/mo total hosting cost.

You can't get a better total deal for $250 anywhere. My $1000 was meant as a ceiling, if they need an extra large server and tons of bandwidth and data storage.
[/quote]
A move will only present more down time. Perhaps they should just keep their current service for the next year and hope this was a one time event. If something like this happens again this year I strongly recommend transferring to a new and larger host.

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Yes most downtime by a longshot, its always been thus though, even 10 years ago (ironic since its a computer focused website).
Ive often got the page with a MS server error or something on it, I did suggest going to apache in ~2004 by was assured things would improve in future

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