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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) YaBB v SMF2 performance (Read 7,489 times)
Bill Myers
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #24 - Jul 12th, 2012 at 5:30pm
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The caching idea for guests and bots ... interesting. Our forum runs quite speedily, so it makes me wonder if the techs operating our server are already doing this with the standard "swap" feature whatever that is.

There's nothing particularly special about the server we use; just a basic standard server.

As of this post, the following stats were being shown:

CPU model: Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz
Number of CPU Cores: 2
CPU MHz: 2799.94
CPU cache: 2048 KB
CPU bogomips: 11205.41

The memory for our server isn't a lot (currently as of this post):

RAM Total: 1.96 GB
Used: 1.87 GB
Free: 84.10 MB

Swap Total: 1.91 GB
Used: 1.01 MB
Free: 1.91 GB

I haven't upgraded our server for a couple of years because there's been no pressing need.

Our forum has always had a far higher number of guests and bots than members online, but then, that seems to be the case in pretty much every forum that allows guests.

As I type this, our current stats are as follows:

Members: 27
Guests: 2610
Search Engines: 443

Oh, this doesn't include the constant barrage of spam-bots that keep trying to register; unsuccessfully.  Wink

I realize our server's stats don't really have anything to do with how efficiently our forum operates; at least not particularly. On the other hand, I suppose there's a recommended minimum in terms of hardware that's needed to allow a server to operate efficiently when a forum is taking up resources.

I would consider our forum to be a medium sized one with a relatively small amount of traffic compared to the traffic that is generated throughout our server's most popular site (currently at 2,647 pages).

Our server is dedicated to just three active domains that we operate, two of which get very little traffic, so that probably makes a big difference in terms of how efficiently our server operates.

This sure beats the old days when we were operating hundreds of sites on many different servers, although I do miss the income that was generated from all that activity.

With some exceptions as needed, I'm down to just three employees; me, myself, and I.  Wink

Edited:
Edited to correct some formatting.
« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2012 at 5:33pm by Bill Myers »  

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Dandello
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #23 - Jul 12th, 2012 at 4:22pm
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The caching idea for guests/bots is definitely one to be looked at - after 2.x/3.x has been debugged and optimized.

A good chunk of the problem with the current YaBB has to do with un-fixed bugs, redundancies, inefficiencies, and catering to older versions of the various databases within the program rather than upgrading the databases to current YaBB format in a separate process. Every time a message or profile file has to be analyzed as to whether it's a 2.5, 2.4 or 2.3 (or older) format before it's displayed takes time and even microseconds add up.

There are other issues as well, including obsolete html and css which can create a unnecessary work for the browser.
« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2012 at 4:25pm by Dandello »  

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zcybjin
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #22 - Jul 12th, 2012 at 3:08pm
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I don't know if this technique can be applied to YaBB 2.x to improve performance, but the following is what I discovered while browsing the PunBB forum: "Cache the whole forum - jpcache for punbb" (Please google it, I can not post URL) and "WP Cache like Mod for PunBB which will make fully static PunBB pages" (Please google it, I can not post URL)

It works like this.  Normally there are more guests or bots than logged-in members viewing the forum, so a possible performance hack is to cache the generated page for guests/bots.  A guest/bot gets either a cached page if a non-expired one exists, or a newly generated page which is also being cached for later use.  This caching should not affect guests/bots too much, since they all belong to the same group, and are not identifiable individually.  This page might explain the idea better than I do: "Caching pages with Perl" (please google with "caching pages with perl")

I am not a Perl programmer (I find it hard to learn the Perl notation), but a Perl module seems to be made for this kind of job: CGI::Cache.  Maybe somebody adept at Perl could try this in YaBB?
« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2012 at 3:11pm by zcybjin »  
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The Boy
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #21 - Jul 11th, 2012 at 6:45pm
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I agree that if you are below a certain size/activity threshold, YaBB (2.5) is stupidly reliable. Ridiculously so. It just purrs along.

If you YaBB is quite busy, as long as Linux disk caching can hold the entire mountpoint in its RAM cache, its reasonably reliable, maybe the odd bit of corruption - esp the first post on pages 2/3/4/5 etc not being visible (fixed quickly by posting on that thread, then deleting that post). Occasionally, the odd more serious corruption that needs the Maintenence Routines running (which is an outage, sadly).  Once Linux starts to struggle with this caching, if the forum has busy waves, IME, you start to see memory errors, and this is when real problems start. Short term solution is to through more hardware at it, but this requirement grows exponentially.

Y3, even in Flatfile form, does help due to AJAX, rather than full page loads.  But Y3 (flatfile) needs a lot of bugs ironed out. SQL versions of YaBB are nowhere near ready, with performance in my testing last year being way slower than flatfile.


FWIW, SMF's antispam is every bit as poor as YaBBs.  Obviously, I have seperately installed an antispam module.
  
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westwegoman
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #20 - Jul 11th, 2012 at 12:52am
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Bill Myers wrote on Jul 10th, 2012 at 11:40pm:
The glass continues to be half full. 

Its a Red Solo Cup, and it has a crack in it. Grin
  
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Bill Myers
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #19 - Jul 10th, 2012 at 11:40pm
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The Boy wrote on Jul 10th, 2012 at 8:12pm:
There was/is a lot to like about YaBB, but for my site, flat file based YaBB (certainly as it currently is) wasn't a solution. SMF almost fully met our needs, and was, for us, certainly better than anything else we tried.

Particularly with the robust activity in your forum, your move away from YaBB was evidently necessary. I get that. By the way, I for one am grateful for the help you continue to give to YaBBers.

Thank you!  Smiley


For many YaBBers, however, including the YaBB forum I operate, staying with YaBB is most probably a better decision to make than switching. That's my general recommendation.

But of course, this will depend on what's going on in your own forum.  Wink

The unfortunate state of affairs here in this forum shouldn't be a particular concern as long as your own YaBB forum is operating well. After all, the "problems" that continue to plague this forum are easily solvable, which means they're pretty much non-existent for the rest of us.

Spam-bot registrations? We've installed anti-spam mods.

Forum links not working properly? Using a stable version of YaBB solves that.

Missing images? We edit those fixes in a timely manner when we find out about them.

Administration feedback? We're around for that we well.

Happily enough, a newer version of YaBB for most of us isn't really needed even though it'd be pretty cool to update our forum's software with the latest features of other forums. But personally, I'm in no hurry to update the forum I operate. What we have works for us just fine.

Bottom line regarding our respective forums: If they ain't broke, they don't need fixing.  Smiley

Thankfully, if or when our forums break down, we continue to be fortunate enough to have fellow Yabbers helping us despite the way this forum is being managed.

The glass continues to be half full.  Wink

  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

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The Boy
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #18 - Jul 10th, 2012 at 8:12pm
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Bill Myers wrote on Jul 10th, 2012 at 7:32am:
so I'll most likely be stubbornly staying with it for as long as this forum exists

I was in the same boat about 18 months ago, stubbornly sticking with YaBB because:

1) I had one of the largest YaBBs, and was proud of it
2) I had faith that YaBB3 was very close, and would solve the issues I was having
3) YaBB had (still does) a very clean, clear layout
4) Converters are pretty non existent, despite what other forum people say


But the stalling of YaBB3, and then the (apparent) loss of interest from the 2 devs working on it, forced me to look at ways out of YaBB. I waited as long as I possibly could, although had been trialling other software as soon as YaBB3 stalled.


There was/is a lot to like about YaBB, but for my site, flat file based YaBB (certainly as it currently is) wasn't a solution. SMF almost fully met our needs, and was, for us, certainly better than anything else we tried.


It was a sad day on 24th September when we made our YaBB readonly, and migrated to SMF. But is was also an exciting new start.

The forum has been more reliable, and a bucketload faster. And the logging is a little bit better IMHO.
  
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westwegoman
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #17 - Jul 10th, 2012 at 7:51am
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True. I did come back. I guess I did so because I kind of feel attached to YaBB and the feeling of knowing my way around it pretty good doesn't hurt either.

On the other hand, now knowing about, and who, the latest member was to disembark... Kind of makes one wonder. Is something going on that we don't know? I'm quite surprised to hear of it.

On the third hand, (yes, I have 3) I have been playing around with the other forum just incase.

It just doesn't seem that things are moving along. I know and understand that the guys who do this have lives outside of YaBB, I would hope that they would understand if people move on.

YaBB has been a great learning tool for me and will continue to be, but we all have to keep our options open. I have a small site with little traffic on the forum but I hope that will change one day. If it does and things haven't progressed, I too will have to move on.

Now.... To beat that horse again, aww hell, Nevermind!!! Angry
  
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Bill Myers
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #16 - Jul 10th, 2012 at 7:32am
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WestwegoMan wrote on Jul 10th, 2012 at 5:09am:
As for me, think I'll stick around for a while. For now, I still have hope for a better future. Wink

This is pretty much the way I feel as well.  Smiley

I've been with YaBB from almost the beginning, so I'll most likely be stubbornly staying with it for as long as this forum exists; probably no matter how bad its operations get. I realize this may not seem like a good business decision to make for the site that our YaBB forum is on, but from my perspective, and in the big picture of it all, it's not necessarily a bad decision either.

As badly as the situation appears to be here, because fixing the small stuff is important, the bottom line is that the latest stable version of YaBB actually runs quite well (version 2.4 as I use it, although as I understand it, version 2.5 is also stable, and runs perfectly fine).

Along with possibly misplaced loyalty, another reason I intend to stick around is out of respect for a handful of people I really admire who continue to operate their own YaBB forums. These people are much smarter than I am about this stuff, so my thinking is they must know what they're doing.

Yes, it's true that the latest apparent defector to another forum is one of those people whom I have a lot of admiration for, so I'm feeling conflicted about my own choice to stay with YaBB. On the other hand, the problems with YaBB's own forum here don't affect me since, again, I'm using a stable version, and YaBB's basic features work well with the way I operate our forum.

The glass for me is still half full.  Wink


On a personal note to you Merv, although I'm publicly stating it here in case anyone else is thinking of switching to another forum, remember that you switched, and then came back.

I didn't switch, but I did install the other forum on a couple of sites just to test it out, so like some kind of a nervous Nellie, I'm more or less ready to move from YaBB if or when it's needed.

Meanwhile, I'm still hoping for the best.  Smiley

  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

Note: This forum doesn't allow for us to freely edit our posts or topics to make corrections as needed, so please remember to look for subsequent posts if you see any mistakes or outdated information. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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westwegoman
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #15 - Jul 10th, 2012 at 5:09am
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Sad to see another member jumping ship. Not sure who it is yet but I have a clue. Will research to see if I'm correct.

I have hopes that someday soon, YaBB will move forward again. If not, I have a feeling that more will continue to move on to another forum.

Putting it plain and simple, if the ship continues to sit in dry dock, more members will jump to another ship. Sad but true.

As for me, think I'll stick around for a while. For now, I still have hope for a better future. Wink
« Last Edit: Jul 10th, 2012 at 5:33am by WestwegoMan »  
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Bill Myers
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #14 - Jul 10th, 2012 at 12:58am
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Regarding this topic of registration problems (locked as of this posting), which changed to a topic about YaBB's unfortunate, and continuing problems that remain unresolved despite many months of requests to fix what are actually easy fixes, I noticed just today that a prominent YaBB member has evidently made the switch to another forum. And this is a guy who's actually written modifications to improve YaBB's software, which I might add has been rejected -  and yet used with much gratitude by YaBB admins outside of YaBB's management.

Happily however, back in February of this year I think it was, Corey made mention of other YaBB mod writers because he supports what they've created, and he wants to include those mods as part of Yabb's next generation of software.

Way to go Corey! Smiley  I just wish you had the time to fix the problems in this forum since you're the only guy who currently has that capability with your full access to YaBB's files.

But I digressRoll Eyes

So if that conversion is successful, another one of our members will have bitten the dust (improper slang used here).

Of course, we all know that the grass is never really greener on the other side; not really; but even if it is, that doesn't mean switching to a better product is the best thing to do. But maybe in due time, none of us will have that choice to make.

Chew on that for a bit.  Cry

Unlike this forum, which kind of only gets new registrations from spammers, that other forum is currently averaging 103.28 new registrants a day. Average posts per day? 1,026.51 (if accurate, both of those figures are current as of this post).

Good for them, but I worry about YaBB because there doesn't seem to be the will to improve this forum let alone develop YaBB's software any further. It's no wonder that we don't have the same kind of activity the other forum has.

My worries are for selfish reasons because I've been using YaBB since 2002, and I really don't want it to die out. Unfortunately, as things are now, my participation is barely tolerated in this forum, and the only support I get is from its members; not from YaBB's management.

This is a horrible way for YaBB to carry on its business of support if that's the term still being used. It's no wonder that good people keep jumping ship.

I guess it's a good thing that I can swim just in case I get pushed off.  Smiley

By the way, and this is not an afterthought, but to those members who have given me your support and understanding about my efforts to improve YaBB, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Meanwhile, until it's no longer possible, I'll continue to see YaBB as if the glass of half full.

  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

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The Boy
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #13 - Jul 9th, 2012 at 7:20pm
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zcybjin wrote on Jun 30th, 2012 at 1:40am:
The Boy wrote on Jan 20th, 2012 at 3:38pm:
...
YaBB performed very well up to around a certain threshold, upon where the underlying OS, Linux in my case, started to struggle badly with the shear number of files in that directory.
...
Search was always an issue, even before this, as opening 100,000 files to search through is always going to end in tears.
...

It is said that the ext3 file system Linux typically uses are not very fast when there are too many files in the same directory.  Is it possible that your performance problem stems from that?  If so, changing to another file system good at handling huge number of files, like XFS or JFS,  might be another way to speed up YaBB.

As to search, I think one of the alternatives is to use Google instead, but you lose the ability to apply additional constraints like posting date, username, etc.

With tweaking in the mount options, ext3 can be as fast as any other. Diasabling atime and (more dangerously) journalling can increase ext3 performance.
  
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Elfen
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #12 - Jul 7th, 2012 at 2:32pm
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zcybjin wrote on Jun 30th, 2012 at 1:40am:
It is said that the ext3 file system Linux typically uses are not very fast when there are too many files in the same directory.  Is it possible that your performance problem stems from that?  If so, changing to another file system good at handling huge number of files, like XFS or JFS,  might be another way to speed up YaBB.

As to search, I think one of the alternatives is to use Google instead, but you lose the ability to apply additional constraints like posting date, username, etc.

This is true of any system, especially Windows. Everyone should notice that when they fill up their hard drives to 75% of capacity, the OS starts to slow down. This is not an OS Issue but a hardware issue, because the hard drive has to sort through its loaded buffers what file you what, and if your directory of full of files, it begins to slow down.

The efficiency of an OS is only as good as the hardware it is on. You can have the crappiest system on the best hardware and get results that are great or you can get the best OS on the crappiest hardware and get crappy results.
  
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zcybjin
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #11 - Jun 30th, 2012 at 1:40am
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The Boy wrote on Jan 20th, 2012 at 3:38pm:
...
YaBB performed very well up to around a certain threshold, upon where the underlying OS, Linux in my case, started to struggle badly with the shear number of files in that directory.
...
Search was always an issue, even before this, as opening 100,000 files to search through is always going to end in tears.
...

It is said that the ext3 file system Linux typically uses are not very fast when there are too many files in the same directory.  Is it possible that your performance problem stems from that?  If so, changing to another file system good at handling huge number of files, like XFS or JFS,  might be another way to speed up YaBB.

As to search, I think one of the alternatives is to use Google instead, but you lose the ability to apply additional constraints like posting date, username, etc.
  
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The Boy
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Re: YaBB v SMF2 performance
Reply #10 - Jan 25th, 2012 at 7:29pm
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Elfen - SSD didn't give me a huge boost, I did try one. Admittedly, it was SATA not SAS, and was plugged into onboard SATA, rather than my HP P400 controller as with ESXi, you have to have an outage to reconfigure the P400  Angry

The SSD was faster, definately, but simply didn't resolve my search issue. YaBB is just too inefficient for search on larger sites - opening each thread, and going through it, closing it, opening the next. With nigh on 100k threads, thats 100k files it needs to open, seach, close sequentially.

SSD is also unsuitable for long term storage, as they are NAND based. NAND is prone to bit flip.


I very much doubt Google make much use of SSD, they tend to go down the line of cheap and cheerful hardware, just use more of it.

Not many large websites make extensive use of SSD - RAM caching is used more, along with accelerators.  Even our large SANs tend to only use SSD for transient data, soon hooked off to traditional platters for longer term storage.



Part of the reason for this thread was to show how, on a large YaBB, a SQL backend compares to a flatfile backend on identical hardware.  Finally able to answer that question that comes up so often Wink.  And the answer is 3 to 4 times faster Wink
  
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