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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)
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Comments:
[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.
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