AfterDawn: Tech news

AfterDawn moved to new servers - relocated in the Netherlands

Written by Jari Ketola @ 30 Sep 2011 8:57 User comments (22)

AfterDawn moved to new servers - relocated in the Netherlands As many of our regular visitors have probably noticed, we had outgrown our four-year-old server setup quite a while ago. We have worked on a new infrastructure for quite a while now, and finally switched to a new location earlier this week.
We have now ironed out much of the (inevitable) bugs that appeared in the transition. However since this was quite a major upgrade, there's bound to be some more problems lurking around in the shadows. Therefore please do let us know if you encounter something that is not working as expected.

In addition to moving to completely new server hardware, we also switched from very old and unsupported BlueDragon FREE Coldfusion server to an open source version of the same software - Open BlueDragon (or OpenBD for short).

Probably the most significant change was moving the hosting location from Dallas, Texas to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The change in location allowed us to get much more beef behind the scenes (full server specifications after the break).

Since the majority of our users come from the North America, we also installed a dedicated cache server for our users there. The cache server is implemented using Varnish Cache - an open source web application accelerator. More precisely Varnish is a caching HTTP reverse proxy, which stores copies of our pages and, if cached, serves them quickly to the end user without going back to our actual application servers (OpenBD), shaving off precious time on each request.

Along with the implementation of the cache it is possible that not all pages are refreshed correctly. I.e. you may find that some news comments can be out of date or the front page missing a recent news item. Again, we'd be more than happy to hear of any such problems you might encounter. Please bear in mind that the pages are only cached for users that are not logged in. Logged in users also access the site through the Varnish proxy, but at least for the time being all the page requests are passed through to our backend servers.

Here are the full specifications of our current server structure:
  • 3 x HP DL180G6 (database servers (MySQL 5.5))
    • 2x Intel Quad-Core Xeon E5620
    • 32GB
    • 2x300GB SAS (RAID1, OS)
    • 10x300GB SAS (RAID1+0, DB)
  • 5 x HP DL120G6 (WWW backend servers)
    • 1x Intel Quad-Core Xeon X3440
    • 8GB
    • 2x500GB SATA
  • 2 x HP DL120G6 (Varnish cache servers (one in US, one in NL))
    • 1x Intel Quad-Core Xeon X3440
    • 8GB
    • 2x500GB SATA
  • 1 x HP DL180G5 (images, css and other static content + DNS)
    • 2x Intel Quad-Core Xeon L5410
    • 16GB
    • 2x300GB SAS (RAID1, OS)
    • 6+1x1TB SATA (RAID5, data)
  • 5 x file download servers, 100Mbps uplink for each (for software downloads)


How do you find our site after the move? Does it feel faster or slower? Have you run into problems? Write a comment to this news article or send us feedback directly. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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22 user comments

130.9.2011 9:36

So far about the same; haven't noticed any issues myself yet, anyone else?

230.9.2011 10:06

Nope, No issues here. Same great AD I know and love


Carpe Noctem

330.9.2011 10:16

great afterdawn as always ;)

430.9.2011 11:02

Everything is running great on my end. Very quick and smooth. I wish all sites ran as well.

530.9.2011 11:29

Running very well here.

630.9.2011 13:04

Working aok from the 2 computers I am using.

730.9.2011 13:36

Working nicely,one question why did you leave the old USA ?

830.9.2011 13:55

seems to be much faster... first time login in a while...
Love you guys.
keep up the good works

930.9.2011 14:28

ok

1030.9.2011 18:11

So far so good.

Enjoy the new city...I know I would!



111.10.2011 3:22

Philadelphia huh. nice place for a cache server.


Powered By

121.10.2011 5:47

Seem faster.....Nice Job.....Thx.


Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

131.10.2011 8:21

a lot faster.. and good riddance to economic collapse totalitarian usa!!




ARR! Them pesky Navy! Get out of my sea!
irc://irc.villageirc.net/afterdawn http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/

141.10.2011 9:01

You explain that you moved, how about letting us know why you moved, what was the advantage.

152.10.2011 0:30

Originally posted by FredBun:
You explain that you moved, how about letting us know why you moved, what was the advantage.
a Legal Foothold would be my guess. one only needs look at AD's forums to make that conclusion.

Powered By

162.10.2011 4:37

Originally posted by DXR88:
Originally posted by FredBun:
You explain that you moved, how about letting us know why you moved, what was the advantage.
a Legal Foothold would be my guess. one only needs look at AD's forums to make that conclusion.
Actually no, it was purely a financial conclusion -- we go through several large ISPs every few years when we're planning to upgrade our server infra and ask for quotes. This time around, the best offer came from Netherlands, thus, we moved there. Obviously we also evaluate stuff like ping, global connection speeds, etc before making the decision, but the winning ISP has been hosting our downloads for couple of years now, so we had quite good insight into their cons & pros already.

Basically, nothing limits us from switching back to the States next time around we upograde/move servers. Now, we just got better oomph per buck from Europe.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
http://AfterDawn.com/

172.10.2011 5:18

Originally posted by dRD:
Originally posted by DXR88:
Originally posted by FredBun:
You explain that you moved, how about letting us know why you moved, what was the advantage.
a Legal Foothold would be my guess. one only needs look at AD's forums to make that conclusion.
Actually no, it was purely a financial conclusion -- we go through several large ISPs every few years when we're planning to upgrade our server infra and ask for quotes. This time around, the best offer came from Netherlands, thus, we moved there. Obviously we also evaluate stuff like ping, global connection speeds, etc before making the decision, but the winning ISP has been hosting our downloads for couple of years now, so we had quite good insight into their cons & pros already.

Basically, nothing limits us from switching back to the States next time around we upograde/move servers. Now, we just got better oomph per buck from Europe.
why wouldn't you want to get the most for your money.

its good to know it has nothing to do with all this net bullcrap going down in the states. it would be the last place id put a server with a forum resume like AD's what with all those how to Burn, Rip, Decrypt, and Crack threads.

Powered By

182.10.2011 5:39

Originally posted by lesgab:
Working nicely,one question why did you leave the old USA ?
dRD pretty much answered this question above. From Leaseweb, we got much more bang for the buck. Actually we now pay less for hosting than we did at Softlayer (which still was called The Planet when we signed up well over half a decade ago).

It's good to hear that things are running smoothly from elsewhere as well!


Jari Ketola
Administrator
http://www.AfterDawn.com

192.10.2011 10:10

Looks good over here. I didn't even notice the change before I read this thread.


DS Warrior ! ! !

204.10.2011 9:32

I have noticed a problem, my post count is down to 6 and im a newbie again :(

214.10.2011 14:17

wouldnt have even known if i hadnt read the article.good work.Al.

226.10.2011 21:16

All is well here!

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