A bit of hardware

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:26 am by Toby

In this modern world of cheap computers and free software, its sometimes easy to forget that you get what you pay for.

I’ve recently been working on a intranet project for a client to run a course booking system for them. Once installed it became obvious that the response from the server was just that little bit too slow, and so I looked around for a solution. By changing the way some of the key pages worked, I shaved a couple of milliseconds off the response time, but it was still too much. Then I thought I should build a dedicated webserver for the application, as it was running on the main company fileserver, along with the sql database it used, and a number of other applications.

I was going to use a basic desktop machine but then someone pointed out that there was an old server lying around. It was fairly low spec with a pentium III running at 500 or 6oo mhz, but had scsi disks and raid unlike the new server I was using (the older server had been replace in another department). I was sure it wouldn’t be all that impressive but since it already had Windows 2000 Server running on it, it wasnt going to take me long to throw on php and sqlserver and get it all running.

Wow what a difference. I had expected at best a tiny difference. But no, I had pages that were taking about 4 seconds to load, now taking less that a second. It went from speed being an isssue in usability, to it ceasing to be a problem at all.

So the moral of the tale is if speed is an issue, make sure you have the hardware to match. There is a reason you can buy a dell server for €400 and for €4000.

Webtalk radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:43 am by Toby

I’ve found another great online ‘PodCast’ (I dont have an Ipod or a MP3 player so I dunno – listen to the show!). Web talk Radio is just like a normal radio talk show except its on the web, and even better its about IT. Very funny too.