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March 30, 2010

BP Unfiltered

Site Slowness

by Dave Pease

You've probably noticed the slowness on our server over the last week or so. It turns out we've been doing a ton of Player Forecast Manager business this year--we're at about 250% of the usage that we've had in any previous year--and the system just isn't scaling well. We've made a couple of changes tonight and we're hoping that'll keep things rolling until we get past everyone's late fantasy drafts and the usage tails off.

We've been running on our current dedicated machine for a few years now, and it's served us pretty well most of that time, but it's plainly time for a change. We're in the planning stages of moving the works to a more flexible multi-server environment that will allow us to quickly deploy additional resources to respond to increased load.  We're also looking forward to "jailing" processor- and database-intensive applications like PFM on their own servers, where they won't impact the performance of the rest of the site.

Unfortunately, we can't yet flip the switch on that, and without taking PFM offline entirely we haven't found a good solution to this issue.  We're continuing to work on it, and I apologize for the delays you've experienced recently and will probably experience over the next few days.

Dave Pease is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Dave's other articles. You can contact Dave by clicking here

11 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Patrickj

noticed it a bit on sunday that the site was slow but it really wasn't that bad; thanks BP for being there through three fantasy drafts this weekend, the PFM really helped me stay on top of my drafts and reminded me about key guys that i wanted to target!

Presumably sunday would be the busiest fantasy draft day of the year so you guys should be fine from here on in. Thanks again BP for getting me through another draft season!

Mar 30, 2010 00:19 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff
(2)

it is certainly our expectation that the worst is now behind us, but we'll make sure it's not a problem next year. glad you were able to make use of it this weekend.

Mar 30, 2010 07:34 AM
 
brooklyn55

Haven't experienced site loading this slow since the ol' days on dial-up. It's been quite frustrating, especially during these crucial draft days. It was taking around 2-3 mins at times to load the home page and almost as long to get any of the internal pages to load. Many times I couldn't even get the PFM to load. This has not been a good Spring Training for BP.

Mar 30, 2010 00:38 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff
(2)

sorry for the massive slowdown--we will make it up to you.

Mar 30, 2010 07:34 AM
 
BurrRutledge

Yeah, the slowness was noticed, as I was trying to use the PFM realtime during my online draft this Sunday. It took over a minute to re-load the list each time, sometimes more than my 90 second window. Consequently, I didn't have much time to consider my pick, if at all. More stressful than I'd imagined.

Mar 30, 2010 05:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff
(2)

people using the PFM in realtime is almost certainly the issue. Not that you shouldn't be able to do that--of course you should--but we just had an awful time keeping up. There are several different directions we could take the tool which would make it much more useful for that, and we're talking them over.

Mar 30, 2010 07:37 AM
 
BurrRutledge

In past years, for reference, each update took about 40 seconds to load. I had done a comprehensive 30-round mock the night before, so I pretty much knew who my best picks would be ahead of time.

Looking forward to another successful fantasy season courtesy of BP and the PFM!

Mar 30, 2010 10:30 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Dave Pease
BP staff
(2)

So far today, PFM loads and the rest of the site are behaving much better, so the changes we made last night, coupled with the completion of most fantasy drafts, might have resolved the issue.

We served about 25% as many PFM sessions as articles this month, and our article traffic wasn't low. That's never happened before. We're going to be better prepared for something like that next year. Sorry again for the delays.

Mar 30, 2010 07:39 AM
 
dianagram

Is there any thought to making PFM a stand-alone and/or downloadable product?

Mar 30, 2010 09:14 AM
rating: 0
 
Michael Bodell
(89)

Years ago it (or an early version of it) was available as an excel file that did the $ calculations for you. I'd personally love to see that again, especially if you could edit the "raw data" when you disagreed with a projection or two and see the recalculation of the new values.

I usually download the PFM into excel and use my own calculations anyways, but I'd love to see the excel application again (and it would help save the server load!).

Apr 05, 2010 14:35 PM
rating: 1
 
brooklyn55

Dave - your straightforward acknowledgment of the problem and lack of a "defensive" attitude to problem reports is most refreshing. Now to get on with resolving the problem(s). You might well have the best material, but if folks can't get to it when they really need it, it isn't of much value.

Mar 30, 2010 10:49 AM
rating: 0
 
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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Spring Conversations (03/29)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: Baltimo... (03/30)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Five Mi... (03/31)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Team Health Reports: T... (03/30)

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