Oh My Word!

Or, oh my database.

Many of you may have noticed that the service in the evenings (for Americans, earlyish morning for Aussies and lateish for us Europeans) is less than optimal. In some cases it just refuses to work altogether.

You may see ‘sorry, the server is too busy to process your request’ in a rather lame looking screen. If you try to login, you may well get told your password is invalid, even though it worked five minutes before.

Basically this is an indication that the database is overloaded and this should not be happening

But clearly it is, and its been getting worse over the past few nights. I’ve wound the number of concurrent connections allowed to the database up to the maximum the machine will cope with, and its helped, but its still failing on occasions. Tonight has been especially bad.

I will be going through the logs to ensure that these are genuine users trying to access the server, and not some stupid script kiddie throwing what he thinks is a clever little denial of service. If it turns out to be someone deliberately attempting to kill the server (for whatever reason) you can rest assured the authorities in your home country will find you and you will be going to jail because we won’t tolerate disruption to our services for the users who are sensible and want to use it.

It may simply be that finally we have become victims of our own success, and given the number of hits DearDiary.Net alone gets each month (not counting the spidering that goes on, or OpenFiction.Com, Atomic Webrings and AtomIC Album, it may just be that we have outgrown the hardware. I hope its this case!

Investigations are going on to find database software that scales a bit better, and we are considering increasing the hardware and putting in place some loadbalancing measures. All of these take time and money though, so please try to be patient, we’re working hard to resolve it.

If you get the notification that your password is wrong, even though it worked a few minutes (or even days, weeks or months!) before, please wait a few minutes and try again.

We apologise for the inconvenience and can assure you, we are looking at various ways to sort this issue out.

Steve. (System Admin Dude Who Takes This Sort Of Thing VERY Personally).