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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 8 of 9
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[User Picture]From: kylecool
2004-07-23 11:01 pm (UTC)
That is so cool! :) yeayy
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: aberbotimue
2004-08-02 11:44 am (UTC)
if this is done at the load ballancer, have you coded it into them??

is so, is that now making a database call to see which queue you are in??
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: be4u
2004-08-02 01:12 pm (UTC)

So what are the chances of...

having support tickets/issues answered by people who can actually understand basic English? I'd rather not have my support request answered than to have it answered by someone who didn't really read it and is only interested in shoving some FAQ at me that does NOT address the problem, and that I have already *stated* in my support request.

I haven't had to file that many support requests, however...every time....EVERY TIME...I do, I get "Oh that's covered in such-n-such FAQ", when it's clearly NOT.

Lastest issue: The time stamp on my comments, whether posted by me or posted by others is off this morning, by 6-7 hours. I'm in Calfornia. That's Pacific time :) You're in Seattle...also Pacific time. With me?

I stated all this in my support request. What did I get back? A link to the FAQ saying that if the time stamp was wrong, it's because it's posting as Pacific time.

If this was a one time occurance, I'd simply write it off....but EVERY TIME I request support or report an issue I go through this. Are you giving something away if people reply to support tickets? Is that it? I hate to bitch, but I also hate to be needlessly frustrated.

I'm waiting for one of your volunteers to suggest I need to reload Windows, and *that* will solve the time stamp problem. In the grand scheme of things, it's really *not* erath shattering. But clearly, something somewhere is "wonky." Silly me...I thought you might want to know.

this isn't the first time time stamps have suddenly gone haywire, just the first time I've reported them. And...the last.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: awclark03
2004-08-02 02:48 pm (UTC)
so are you going to say how many people "cut" in front of us and made us wait b/c were not in the all high and mighty "paid" lane?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ohioraverboi
2005-01-03 12:04 am (UTC)
Nope. YOu should expect to be treated with less benefits and lower service since you're not supporting the site whatsoever. Its how the entire commercial world works. Get used to it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mari_mac1109
2004-08-02 10:08 pm (UTC)
My day has been made!! All is happy in the world!! :-) Icons, layouts and ousting my free user friends out of the way! Wee!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nerdanel
2004-08-03 09:22 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! As a long time free user (since Oct 2001) who has been a paid user since early 2004, I only regret that I didn't start supporting this site sooner. It's been an asset, despite the occasional ups and downs, and I will never regret the hours that I spent in 2001 sending out emails to paid users with shared interests, begging them for that code so that I, too, could have a LJ ;)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: admiralmemo
2004-08-03 07:47 pm (UTC)

OK... Cool!

This will probably speed the downloaded clients up, too, right?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: picoelpiff
2004-08-03 09:49 pm (UTC)
Does this express lane affect permanent users too?
If so, is it the same as it is for paid accounts?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: finallogic
2004-08-03 09:51 pm (UTC)
If I'm trying to search all livejournal posts in the last hour, and sort by username, using the advanced feature, why won't it work? It just endlessly reloads the search page?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nikkesen
2004-08-05 10:06 pm (UTC)
Really, I would have never guessed, seeing how the server is being intolerably slow right now.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sadistichrist
2004-08-05 10:24 pm (UTC)
Is this working? Because I don't see any of these stat things when I view my page source and everything is loading really slowly. Where in the source is it supposed to be?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: agora_phobic
2004-08-07 12:01 am (UTC)
holy crap. mad props, homies. mad props. i love being an asshole to free users. that's what it's all about, yo.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: queen_emily
2004-08-07 06:44 pm (UTC)
just letting you know, i REALLY hate this feature. my parents don't really approve of me having a LJ, so they won't buy me a paid account because i won't show them my journal. there are things in my journal that i would rather die than let them know, so for people like me and/or in my situation, this really doesn't work too well.

just thought you should know.

<33
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: boredmder
2004-08-08 04:50 pm (UTC)
Simple.

Make a few public entries, with random crap in it. Make everything else friends only.

When they ask, show them your journal, of course with you logged out.

They see public entries like 'today i had a weird dream about clouds', and 'i hate my computer for such and such reason', and they see that your LJ is no cause for concern.

Why don't they approve of it?

This is exactly what I plan to do with my dad, as you can see from my journal's page. All public entries have really nothing to do with my personal life.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: longi
2004-08-09 04:25 pm (UTC)

Way to fudge those stats.

I guess that's why it's taking 5 mins to get "Document contains no data." every second page while trying to save all my old posts with comments.

(Reply) (Thread)
From: pyro01
2004-08-22 05:03 pm (UTC)
that would explain the lag i've been getting
(Reply) (Thread)
Page 8 of 9
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