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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 7 of 9
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[User Picture]From: inisfair
2004-07-09 03:14 am (UTC)
Hey so where might a curious person find out more about the system infrastructure you guys have setup to allow for this anyway?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: decadence1
2004-07-09 04:05 am (UTC)
LiveJournal Techie things usually live in:
http://www.livejournal.com/community/lj_backend/
and http://www.livejournal.com/community/lj_dev/

I didn't see a direct reference to this issue, when I glanced just now... but that's not to say I'd recognise it if I did. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: memnet
2004-07-09 06:20 am (UTC)
No wonder it has been loading so fast..thanks.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cuban321
2004-07-09 06:44 am (UTC)
http://stat.livejournal.com/img/userinfo.gif

I always thought that icon should be another color for paid users. Maybe red?

What do you think?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: admiralmemo
2004-08-03 07:37 pm (UTC)

Heh...

I've been thinking about that, too. I like red, but I'd rather have green. Goes great with the green cash you paid to get a spiffy account. ;-)

And, also, great icon. BTTF is so great.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: shadoh
2004-07-09 07:07 am (UTC)

Permanent accounts?

Wow, that is very cool. Thanks, Brad!

How does that affect permanent accounts? Are we in the same priority category?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: paint_me_a_sky
2004-07-09 07:32 am (UTC)

grrr

okay on my livejournal, i looked at it this one time and all my information and my colors and font and layout was all changed, and it keeps doing it. i dont think anyone is going in and changing it, so whats going on?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: montecristo
2004-07-13 06:43 pm (UTC)

Icon curiosity

Love or Justice? Both are blindfolded.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: siege
2004-07-09 09:50 am (UTC)
Yay, paid users are special again. :) Well, besides the icon thing.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bejiin
2004-07-09 12:17 pm (UTC)
YAY! I was getting a little annoyed with the number of times LJ would kill my posts or comments because of the lag ^^;; I'm glad you made it so paid users don't have to retype so much. ^_^
(Reply) (Thread)
From: pyro01
2004-09-03 05:45 pm (UTC)
and yet non-paid have to retype many more times
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: halfawake
2004-07-09 03:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you. This should make LiveJournal much nicer on the times when it's really busy.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: cut_words
2004-07-09 10:20 pm (UTC)
that's awesome! thanks!
(Reply) (Thread)
From: tpk
2004-07-10 04:26 am (UTC)

eeexcellent:

This is an awesome feature!

Is it merely set in the proxy? Or is there some other distinction that lets the server know what the account type is?

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: postal_dude
2004-07-10 09:38 pm (UTC)
This sounds really cool; I might actually consider extending my subscription now. The past month of slowdowns and site problems turned me off, but this definately makes up for it.

Faster site access was my main reason for purchasing an account in the first place.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bitchy_boy
2004-07-11 09:50 am (UTC)
Yay faster load times.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gerg
2004-07-11 01:21 pm (UTC)
Huzzah!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kloostec
2004-07-11 11:47 pm (UTC)
Do you have to be logged in for this to take effect?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: admiralmemo
2004-08-03 07:46 pm (UTC)

Well...

The site wouldn't know who you were if you weren't logged in, so it'd make you an anonymous free user, putting you with the rest of them. Logging in sets your cookie telling them, "Hey! I'm me. Let me post and use stuff." They'd just have to add the "Priority" or "Not Priority" status to the cookie.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: anamacha
2004-07-15 01:50 pm (UTC)
I viewed Source for my LJ page, and it doesn't have any such info, that the load balancer was supposed to put in. It just has the standard DTD. I checked a) because it was said that this info was supposed to be reported, and b) LJ has been pretty slow today, for me.

And if someone else has already asked this, sosmone please just direct me to the appropriate place ... either LJ or my computer is doing things so slowly that I don't have the patience to wade through *5* pages of comments.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bride
2004-08-02 09:29 pm (UTC)

Slower for some Paid users

I've notice LJ being extra slow for me today as well.

I do have the patience to wade through 5 pages of comments, two others on page 4 have also brought up that it's been slower for them today as well. That makes it:

aidanenchanted
aqxsd0927
animacha
bride

I'm on Cartman, subcluster 4, if that helps.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
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