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Paid user "express lane" [Jul. 8th, 2004|03:22 pm]
Paid Members

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[bradfitz]
New paid user feature!

If you're logged in as a paid user, you "cut in line" of other web requests that we've received but not yet generated a response for.

So our load balancer retrieves all incoming web requests immediately after your browser sends them, then sorts those requests into two lines: free users and paid users.

Whenever a real server (not the load balancer) is ready to do more work, it always fulfills a request from the paid user line, and only does free user requests once no paid users are waiting.

We've had this done for a couple weeks, but just put it live today. We were going to wait to announce it until we had the cool part done, but thought it best you all know what's up. The cool part is: we're going to make the load balancer tell the real servers how many seconds/milliseconds you saved by cutting in line and how many people you cut in front of, and then the real servers will add that to the response, so you can do "View Source" in your browser and at the top it'll show you those stats, so you can verify it's working.

This is all different from what we did a few years ago, which was to have "free servers" and "paid servers". Instead all the servers do both free and paid, but access to the servers is prioritized by your account type.

Here are some stats of it in action:
queues
web_proxy-normal.age 0
web_proxy-normal.count 3
web_proxy-highpri.age 0
web_proxy-highpri.count 0
.
queues
web_proxy-normal.age 0
web_proxy-normal.count 0
web_proxy-highpri.age 0
web_proxy-highpri.count 0
.
queues
web_proxy-normal.age 0
web_proxy-normal.count 4
web_proxy-highpri.age 0
web_proxy-highpri.count 0
.
queues
web_proxy-normal.age 1
web_proxy-normal.count 4
web_proxy-highpri.age 0
web_proxy-highpri.count 0
.
queues
web_proxy-normal.age 0
web_proxy-normal.count 3
web_proxy-highpri.age 0
web_proxy-highpri.count 0
.
queues
web_proxy-normal.age 0
web_proxy-normal.count 5
web_proxy-highpri.age 0
web_proxy-highpri.count 0
.


At the top it showed there were 3 free users (waiting for less than a second --- age 0) waiting to get responses, and 0 paid users. Then it was all clear, then 4 new free users were waiting, then waiting up to a second, then those cleared, and 3 new free users were waiting under a second. Then 5 later, still under a second.

But throughout, no paid users were ever waiting.

Obviously the above isn't an interesting demo of this feature, but next time we hit a hiccup and the site gets slow, the paid users will be affected the least, since you won't have to wait in line long for a page to be generated. (just have to wait for paid users that came before you)
LinkReply

Comments:
Page 2 of 9
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From: bairy
2004-07-08 03:31 pm (UTC)
Neat feature.

Does this happen across all pages in the site or just e.g. browsing?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2004-07-08 03:33 pm (UTC)
All pages.

LJ clients like Semagic or Lochjournal or Logjam may need updating to send the proper info along that says "Hey, I'm a paid user!", but if you're just using the site in your browser, yes... it'll work everywhere.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: starchasing
2004-07-08 03:31 pm (UTC)
Bravo! It is always greatly appreciated when LJ gives perks to those of us that support the site financially. Thank you!!
(Reply) (Thread)
From: __murderer__
2004-07-08 05:08 pm (UTC)
in my opinion, I think ANY site should give perks to members who stay with the site through the good and bad times. NOT to those who pay, if LJ only allowed paid members no one would be here, I gaurantee it.
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[User Picture]From: cryslea
2004-07-08 03:32 pm (UTC)
I KNEW a paid account was worth it!! YAYAYAYAAY
(Reply) (Thread)
From: chrispey
2004-07-08 03:32 pm (UTC)
Just played with the site a little and it does seem to be working faster, maybe it's just my imagination though.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: sparklyoctopus
2004-07-09 12:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm noticing a definite improvement. Being on dialup, I'm practically doing cartwheels. I officially adore Brad'n'Co.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bengirrl_tiger
2004-07-08 03:32 pm (UTC)
that reminds me, I have to renew my subscription
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rabidfurball
2004-07-08 09:33 pm (UTC)
If you had renewed yesterday you would have got 2 months free.

whoops, too bad.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: bitchy_boy
2004-09-06 03:00 pm (UTC)
Same here... I remember sticking with LJ when the site was like REALLY slow..
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nikkidarling
2004-07-08 03:33 pm (UTC)
Very cool. Thanks! =)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gen_kun
2004-07-08 03:33 pm (UTC)
Awesome! This is why LJ is worth paying for!
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From: __murderer__
2004-07-08 04:53 pm (UTC)
don't you think that's a little unfair? Charging for non-crappy service? I'm a paid member but it seems a little messed up to me.
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[User Picture]From: notanotheranime
2004-07-08 03:34 pm (UTC)
Sounds good to me
(Reply) (Thread)
From: synthe
2004-07-08 03:35 pm (UTC)
So when does the note at the top of the raw HTML showing how much time you saved get implemented? I haven't seen it yet, but I may be looking in the wrong place...
(Reply) (Thread)
From: bairy
2004-07-08 03:45 pm (UTC)
we're going to make the load balancer tell the real servers how many seconds/milliseconds you saved

Future tense, so probably not implemented yet
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kaimi
2004-07-08 03:35 pm (UTC)
If you had posted this yesterday, I would have paid for six more months! Shame on you! ;)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sharya
2004-07-08 03:35 pm (UTC)
I just hit "view source" so I could see for myself, and there was nothing like what you posted there. When are the queues supposed to show up?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: marksmith
2004-07-08 03:37 pm (UTC)
That hasn't been done yet. That's something we're working on and will have on the site later. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dawna
2004-07-08 03:35 pm (UTC)
that rocks :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: alien88
2004-07-08 03:36 pm (UTC)
Oh awesome. about time.. this makes me happy. I can already see the speed difference.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: max_mizuhara
2004-07-08 04:47 pm (UTC)
lol really? it's not implimented yet =P
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[User Picture]From: lilfurrydan
2004-07-08 03:37 pm (UTC)

Whereabouts in the source?

Am I going short-sighted? I can't see any of this information in a view-source of, for example, my friends page. Or does it only apply to paid accounts, as distinct from permanent accounts?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: marksmith
2004-07-08 03:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Whereabouts in the source?

That hasn't been done yet. That's something we're working on and will have on the site later. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
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