News about backend changes that we are implementing to make ModDB, Indiedb & Desura faster for you to use!
Posted by Greg on Mar 16th, 2011
A couple of big changes are on the way with our platform as we strive to keep pace with the growth of our community and improve the quality of the service that we deliver.
Some of you may have noticed that there have been a few issues with site slowdowns during the past month (with Desura and IndieDB both growing), and we have isolated this problem some time ago - however the cause and subsequent fix has been time consuming to implement.
Bring on nginx! What is nginx? Previously, all of the DesuraNET sites used Apache to serve our dynamic content, with a combination of lighttpd and squid serving out media (images/videos/downloads). Apache (though amazing) is a rather large piece of software which can quickly become a ram hog, limiting the number of maxclients you can have connected at the same time. Because of this we've had to look elsewhere, and after much experimentation we settled on nginx, a lightweight Apache made by a lone Russian hacker.
Nginx is a webserver that uses a fastcgi wrapper to spawn PHP - upto twice as fast as Apache, and during busy periods, easily 10 times as fast as Apache. This is great, as it means we can reduce our webserving hardware requirement, while keeping spare capacity for peak times, allowing for resources to be shifted elsewhere.
One of these resource shifts is into an Anycast CDN. What does this mean? Well it means that if you are in Europe, when you visit a DesuraNET site or use the Desura client, all the images/video you see will come down via the EU - providing you with much faster image rendering and load speeds. We can add additional locations in the future to further capacity and reduce media serving time. This CDN should be operational within a the next 1 ~ 2 months.