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Old 31st July 2014, 06:58 PM   #1
idoubtit
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Future of the Forum

Everyone, this is important.

First off, this is Sharon Hill (http://sharonAhill.com). I am serving as Creative Consultant to the JREF. I am a long-time member of the forum and appreciate its value. I am on board with the organization to craft their reboot with a new and focused agenda on education.

You may have noticed that the forum is running painfully slow.

We currently have major issues with the forum hardware, software and large number of users. The situation is precarious, but knowledgable people are doing their best to make it useable. There are several issues that must be addressed. This is part of the overall website overhaul, which is overdue.

A minor update has been made to make the situation more stable. However, this had consequences:

1. Cacheing is turned off. This makes login readily available but access painfully slow. If caching is turned on, the forum content will be more quickly available when NOT logged in but slow when user is logged in.

2. The ultimate solution is an upgrade in hardware, software, and a porting of the data. This is not easy nor cheap.

3. The Forum moderator has been notified of the situation. It's time to brainstorm on what to do and figure out the most doable plan.

If you ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE about forums, please provide your advice. I am well aware of the value of the forum and the large number of members served. You do not need to convince me of that. What you need to do is come up with some ideas on how to save the data and continue the forum on a stable, responsive platform. That may mean moving to a different forum software.

Send your detailed ideas to sharon@randi.org or post them here for discussion.

This forum is a unique and fantastic resource. But, this is a time of transition. We need your help and expertise so that it can continue. I have confidence that many here know their stuff. Help us out.

Thanks.
Sharon
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Old 31st July 2014, 07:16 PM   #2
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Thank you Sharon and others for your attention to this project. Those of us who believe in the forum very much appreciate it. Unfortunately I myself don't have the technical knowledge to assist, but I am willing to be a tester, or to contribute to the project in whatever non-technical way I can.
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Old 31st July 2014, 07:27 PM   #3
abaddon
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
Everyone, this is important.

First off, this is Sharon Hill (http://sharonAhill.com). I am serving as Creative Consultant to the JREF. I am a long-time member of the forum and appreciate its value. I am on board with the organization to craft their reboot with a new and focused agenda on education.

You may have noticed that the forum is running painfully slow.

We currently have major issues with the forum hardware, software and large number of users. The situation is precarious, but knowledgable people are doing their best to make it useable. There are several issues that must be addressed. This is part of the overall website overhaul, which is overdue.

A minor update has been made to make the situation more stable. However, this had consequences:

1. Cacheing is turned off. This makes login readily available but access painfully slow. If caching is turned on, the forum content will be more quickly available when NOT logged in but slow when user is logged in.

2. The ultimate solution is an upgrade in hardware, software, and a porting of the data. This is not easy nor cheap.

3. The Forum moderator has been notified of the situation. It's time to brainstorm on what to do and figure out the most doable plan.

If you ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE about forums, please provide your advice. I am well aware of the value of the forum and the large number of members served. You do not need to convince me of that. What you need to do is come up with some ideas on how to save the data and continue the forum on a stable, responsive platform. That may mean moving to a different forum software.

Send your detailed ideas to sharon@randi.org or post them here for discussion.

This forum is a unique and fantastic resource. But, this is a time of transition. We need your help and expertise so that it can continue. I have confidence that many here know their stuff. Help us out.

Thanks.
Sharon
All of that is utter baloney. All of the performance issues could be eliminated for pennies. This site is not hosted on a dedicated server, not even cohosted or anything next nor near it. This site exists as a shared facility rented for 10p a month and is borked by the other hosted sites on the same server. Pretending that it is otherwise is disingenuous in the extreme. In the space of 24 hrs I could host this site on a ded server and port all of the data and eliminate all of the performance issues. ANYONE could, given the will to do so. Whoever tells you otherwise is talking through their hat.

But what do I know, after all, I only do this stuff for a living.
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Old 31st July 2014, 07:34 PM   #4
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Hello Sharon,

There is already some good info in the current thread on this subject. I just want to make sure you have seen it, and perhaps even read it:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=268265

As for your bullet point #2, I believe someone linked to another forum in that thread (a forum larger than this one) that was still on the exact same version of vBulletin as we are and their forum works fine. So I assume that means you just need to update the hardware, not the software. (Then again we might have a glitch they do not have that is causing the problem. Or we might be using an ad-on they do not have that is causing the problem)

Again, the end of your bullet #2, several of us have said in that thread that if a donation is set-up that is specifically earmarked* for fixing the forum problems we would donate generously.

*And by this I merely mean separate from the normal JREF donation system that goes to the JREF in general.
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Old 31st July 2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
This site is not hosted on a dedicated server, not even cohosted or anything next nor near it. This site exists as a shared facility rented for 10p a month and is borked by the other hosted sites on the same server.

If that is true then it is very clearly the problem and can be fixed by spending just under a couple hundred $$ per month for a good dedicated server (and there are even ways to make that cheaper).

That would also explain why sometimes the site works great and other times not.
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Old 31st July 2014, 08:17 PM   #6
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Sharon, I am glad to see that someone directly involved with the future of Randi.org is working to try to keep the forum alive. For a while, I thought this was not the case. So, thank you!

I have no real internet technical skills so cannot help in that regard, but I see the value in the forum and would be happy to help out if a membership donation drive is started (I believe it wouldn't be the first time this is done--and as I understand it at least one previous effort was successful), if that is what is deemed necessary. I'm also confident that members who do know their internet forum stuff will be willing to help by providing their expertise.

Last edited by AdMan; 31st July 2014 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 31st July 2014, 08:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
All of that is utter baloney. All of the performance issues could be eliminated for pennies. This site is not hosted on a dedicated server, not even cohosted or anything next nor near it. This site exists as a shared facility rented for 10p a month and is borked by the other hosted sites on the same server. Pretending that it is otherwise is disingenuous in the extreme. In the space of 24 hrs I could host this site on a ded server and port all of the data and eliminate all of the performance issues. ANYONE could, given the will to do so.

What would be the cost to do so? That may be the main impediment. Would it really be "pennies"?
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Old 31st July 2014, 08:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post

As for your bullet point #2, I believe someone linked to another forum in that thread (a forum larger than this one) that was still on the exact same version of vBulletin as we are and their forum works fine.

The usual example for the upper limits of vBulletin is http://www.skyscrapercity.com/ which ususaly has several thousand users online.
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Old 31st July 2014, 08:53 PM   #9
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Thank you for taking the time to let us know about the situation. I'm sure we have several forum gurus here!
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Old 31st July 2014, 08:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
What would be the cost to do so? That may be the main impediment. Would it really be "pennies"?
If you want the Ferrari end of the market, $300 a month gets all the bells and whistles, full ded server, full tech support, full parts and service, 99.9% uptime guaranteed, free upgrades, unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth and a partridge in a pear tree.

Wanna go cheaper? For $5 a month you could get better than the existing server.
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Old 31st July 2014, 09:06 PM   #11
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I think the discussion in the Slow Forum thread (http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=268265) has a lot of info in it and is probably worth reading.

I administrate a forum of comparable size (800ish concurrent users typical, 3,000 concurrent users max, 5 million posts, 4000+ active users, 15,000 distinct visitors per day), responsible for all hardware and software. So everything I say is for the forum software only, I don't have much experience with Joomla.

I guess a basic question is is there a budget in mind for the forum that you are trying to stay under? Or is this more an issue of the JREF willing to spend the money just ensuring that the money spent is spent effectively?

Some general musings, in no particular order. It will get technical so I apologize for that, but I'll try to keep it down:

Do you have a skilled Linux/PHP/MySQL type sysadmin on staff or volunteering to run the server stack? Or are you depending on the expertise of the service providers?

One reason I ask is part of figuring out what you need to do involves looking at what the current bottlenecks are, which usually involves logging and examining those logs at the system level.

Hardware: In general I think with #2 you are on the right track; the hardware the forum is running on is simply insufficient for the task. A VPS is a shared platform and once forums reach this size dedicated servers are usually the better bang for the buck. I run our forum on two servers, a web server to serve the pages, and a database server to run the database, and both are 2+ core servers with 4GB RAM each, and we can handle over 2000 concurrent users without much of a slowdown. You might not need to go to two servers right away.

The primary fix for the forum slowness should be more robust server(s). Everything else I mention is incremental benefits.

Softlayer is kind of expensive IMO and I'm not sure what benefit they have over other (still reputable) providers. I think money could be saved by going to another provider. I've had experience with WiredTree and Steadfast. WiredTree for example has a fully managed 4 core server with 16GB RAM, a 120GB SSD and 500GB HDD, 20TB of transfer and 2 IPs on a VLAN (which means adding a second server down the road when load requires is easier) for $199 a month. Liquid Web has something similar for $149 a month.

Forum software: The forum software itself will have some impact on how well the forum performs on a given set of hardware, but I don't think you will find that one will be an order of magnitude different than another; forums are very resource intensive compared to more static things like Joomla by their nature. So don't look for a change in forum software in order to fix performance issues; it won't be the solution. It will have some impact though.

That said the version of vBulletin used is older and no longer maintained (except for security updates) and I think for things like security, maintained plugins, and efficient use of the server's resources it wouldn't be wrong to update the software. For example vBulletin 3.x that you run uses one kind of table type in the database, but more modern software uses another type that's more appropriate and efficient.

I really don't like the newest version of vBulletin though and don't like the company that makes it in general recently. I'm going to be updating my forum software in the near future as well and Xenforo is the top choice for me. I think this agrees with what Darat was saying in the Slow Forum thread.

Migrating from one to another is a long process that usually involves lots of test runs and testing to make sure all the various permissions and such make it across, but it is pretty straight forward. There is a migration script that is available (for a cost) for vBulletin -> Xenforo that makes the process faster and easier, but that isn't totally necessary.

Search: This is related to the forum software, and is usually one of the big drains on resources for a forum. With the size of the forum the built in vBulletin 3.x search (which uses the database search) doesn't work very well. It's possible to retrofit a better search engine like Sphinx into it, though more up to date forum software usually has better integration with such search engines. Xenforo has an official search addon.

Database: As mentioned I'd recommend having the database on a separate server than the web server, then it can be scaled appropriately with the right amount of memory. An SSD for the disk is usually a pretty inexpensive option these days too, which can improve database performance. If a more modern forum software is used then you could also use the database software Percona or MariaDB (which are free drop in replacements for MySQL) which has some performance benefits as well.

Other Stuff:
For caching, on my forum I don't use page caching at all, though caching the pages when users are not logged in is a great idea as long as it is done properly. Using a pay service to accomplish this if money is tight might not be the best bang/buck, but Sucuri does monitor for malware as well, and assuming it's the Premium plan that's not a huge expense. But free software like Varnish can do the same thing (though with a lot more work to implement, so it assumes someone with the knowhow can do the install).

Related to caching, I'd recommend using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like MaxCDN to cache and serve static resources (things like the images, avatars, icons, javascript and CSS files). Over 60% of the web server requests for a vBulletin forum are for these static files and having a CDN properly configured can offload those requests (reducing the # of requests the web server has to respond to by 60%). Worth the small cost IMO. Barring that switching to a different HTTP server like nginx or Litespeed can have incremental benefits as well. These won't solve the problem with insufficient resources, but can ensure the resources are being used as efficiently as possible on the proper tasks.

-----------

Anyway sorry for the long post, but that's a summary of the info I posted into the Forum Speed thread which is based on my experience of running a vBulletin forum.

I know a lot of it is technical so much is directed at whomever is responsible for the technical part of things.

I'll answer any questions I can.
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Old 31st July 2014, 09:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
In the space of 24 hrs I could host this site on a ded server and port all of the data and eliminate all of the performance issues. ANYONE could, given the will to do so. Whoever tells you otherwise is talking through their hat.

But what do I know, after all, I only do this stuff for a living.
Haha, I guess I should have read the thread before I posted my essay, because yeah besides all the other stuff I talked about, this.
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Old 31st July 2014, 11:14 PM   #13
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A question for Sharon, when she has time, as I think it's relevant to any discussion here:

What resources is the JREF willing to put into the forums? Honestly, myself and others have the sense that the forums are more or less an afterthought for the powers that be, worthwhile only if it doesn't suck up too much time or money. A few years ago, we had official JREF staff involved in the running of the forum, helping to deal with problems; then things changed, and we were told that all such issues had been put under Darat's purview...that the JREF would no longer have any direct involvement with the forums.

Actual participation in the forums by JREF staff, while never that high to begin with (I know they're busy) seems to have dropped to almost zero in the past year.

So, before we address questions of how to fix this...shouldn't we first be addressing questions of what the JREF's willing to put into fixing it?

None of the above is intended as criticism of the JREF itself, or it's staff. My personal opinion is that the JREF is missing out on a very valuable potential resource by relegating their role in the JREF to such a minimal level; but they've got lots of other stuff they're doing, and different people will have different priorities. My question is intended as a sincere question, to better assist others in making recommendations that would fit with the JREF's own resources and plans.
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Old 31st July 2014, 11:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Sharon, I am glad to see that someone directly involved with the future of Randi.org is working to try to keep the forum alive. For a while, I thought this was not the case. So, thank you!

I have no real internet technical skills so cannot help in that regard, but I see the value in the forum and would be happy to help out if a membership donation drive is started (I believe it wouldn't be the first time this is done--and as I understand it at least one previous effort was successful), if that is what is deemed necessary. I'm also confident that members who do know their internet forum stuff will be willing to help by providing their expertise.
AdMan speaks for me.

You, Sharon, note that JREF is wants to focus more on the "E". I would emphasize that this forum could be one very powerful spoke in the wheel of education. There are so many knowledgeable, erudite, interesting people here that almost any topic you can think of could be addressed by this forum in a substantive, informative and even humorous manner.
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Old 31st July 2014, 11:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
So, before we address questions of how to fix this...My personal opinion is that the JREF is missing out on a very valuable potential resource by relegating their role in the JREF to such a minimal level; but they've got lots of other stuff they're doing, and different people will have different priorities.

I agree with this, especially with the renewed focus on education as an objective for the JREF (though, as an aside, hadn't the "E" in the JREF always been there?).

I think the JREF board has for a while been underestimating the role the forum can play in this renewed effort. I think it's a mistake to think that Twitter and Facebook and all the other new social channels can better deliver educational messages. I think anyone who's participated in the forum for any length if time would agree. There have been many thoughtful, educational discussions taking place in the forum, that would likely have been practically impossible anywhere else.

It's always a balance, between the older and the new.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
All of that is utter baloney. All of the performance issues could be eliminated for pennies. This site is not hosted on a dedicated server, not even cohosted or anything next nor near it. This site exists as a shared facility rented for 10p a month and is borked by the other hosted sites on the same server. Pretending that it is otherwise is disingenuous in the extreme. In the space of 24 hrs I could host this site on a ded server and port all of the data and eliminate all of the performance issues. ANYONE could, given the will to do so. Whoever tells you otherwise is talking through their hat.

But what do I know, after all, I only do this stuff for a living.
Thank you so much for your creative and constructive bitching.

Can you help? If so, please do.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I would emphasize that this forum could be one very powerful spoke in the wheel of education. There are so many knowledgeable, erudite, interesting people here that almost any topic you can think of could be addressed by this forum in a substantive, informative and even humorous manner.

Agree 100%. If education is now the top priority, the forum should be as well. You have many obviously intelligent, knowledgeable members, willing to contribute and participate in discussions. Why not take advantage of that to help educate people?
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:44 AM   #18
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If part of the problem is that we have over 10 million posts in the forum could some of them be archived and removed from the forum? Keep them available somewhere.
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Old 1st August 2014, 01:24 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
I agree with this, especially with the renewed focus on education as an objective for the JREF (though, as an aside, hadn't the "E" in the JREF always been there?).

I think the JREF board has for a while been underestimating the role the forum can play in this renewed effort. I think it's a mistake to think that Twitter and Facebook and all the other new social channels can better deliver educational messages. I think anyone who's participated in the forum for any length if time would agree. There have been many thoughtful, educational discussions taking place in the forum, that would likely have been practically impossible anywhere else.

It's always a balance, between the older and the new.


Totally! Education is a two way process, we learn through feedback. Engagement with a subject through question/answer dialogue and mutual exploration is vital for a living understanding, as opposed to a passive reception of "knowledge" without engagement.

Having discovered something from the JREF on YouTube, what better follow up than a visit to the forum, maybe the first time the person has heard of this forum, and the skeptic movement as a real active community.

Vital. Until the forum is not a frustrating boring treacle dribble, such a person would never stay long enough to discover what's going on here.
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Old 1st August 2014, 01:36 AM   #20
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What abaddon and temporalillusion have said sounds sensible.

I'm also willing to chip-in some money to save the forum. I can't do it regularly, but yes to a one-off.
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Old 1st August 2014, 01:45 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
We currently have major issues with the forum hardware, software and large number of users. The situation is precarious, but knowledgable people are doing their best to make it useable. There are several issues that must be addressed. This is part of the overall website overhaul, which is overdue.
I'm puzzled. Knowledgable people have been working on this already, but the problem still requires the input of forum members to resolve? I think some more details about the problem would help here. Presumably these people have identified some aspects of the problem...? Is the forum disk bound, or CPU bound? Is it the database that is causing the slowness? These should be fairly easily answerable questions. What is the issue that the resources currently working on the problem can't address?

I have some experience in infrastructure capacity and performance, but whether that is the correct skill set to progress this problem really depends on information that has yet to be provided.

Last edited by shuttlt; 1st August 2014 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 1st August 2014, 01:53 AM   #22
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Like others, and despite Sharon's positive comments, I serious doubt JREF's commitment to the forum.
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Old 1st August 2014, 02:40 AM   #23
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abbadon,

I haven't followed the discussion but how do you know it's on a VPS?

As someone who (amongst other things) also does this for a living, abbadon is correct. A well trafficked forums is going to struggle on a VPS. The issue is almost certainly to do with database response time.

The main randi.org website appears to be with a different provider altogether, has it been having performance issues?

Both the forum and the main website appear to be using very old versions of their respective software (vbulletin and joomla). More recent versions are both more secure and faster.
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Old 1st August 2014, 08:42 AM   #24
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The forum being on a VPS has been discussed on other threads and I think it's pretty much confirmed.. or it's confirmed it's on a shared environment which is most likely a VPS.

Interesting I didn't notice the main site is different, it's on Linode, which is also a VPS type provider (or "Cloud" hosting). I've never seen slowdowns on the main site but the load is likely far far less on the main site since the amount of new content generated per day on the main site is many many orders of magnitude less, a mostly static site lends itself well to caching, etc.

Don't know about Joomla, but I would disagree with new version of vBulletin being faster. vBulletin 5 is a dogs breakfast IMO and I wouldn't touch it.
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Old 1st August 2014, 08:48 AM   #25
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One other thought I had, has the JREF ever thought about seeking out a forum sponsor? Surely out of all of the providers of dedicated servers out there in the world some of them must be aware and supportive of the JREF.

Such a company would provide (donate) the servers and the expertise at their own cost maybe as a tax writeoff, or some sort of "Powered By" indication on the forum...
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Old 1st August 2014, 09:02 AM   #26
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The problems described are why I hardly post here now, good luck with sorting a solution.
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Old 1st August 2014, 09:09 AM   #27
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The forum is on dedicated hardware that cannot be sustained. A move to new hardware and software is needed. That's the issue that must be solved.

I would like the admins to contact me so we can work out details. I don't know who will take charge of supplying the final input on behalf of the forum but would like that established so we can start moving this ahead.

Also, if you are willing to help with the nuts and bolts discussion, that will need to progress via email. Send me your email address and your capabilities.

Sharon@randi.org
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:01 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by temporalillusion View Post
Don't know about Joomla, but I would disagree with new version of vBulletin being faster. vBulletin 5 is a dogs breakfast IMO and I wouldn't touch it.
Never used version vBulletin 5 to be honest. JREF forums are on 3.7.7 however. Version 4 was architecturally completely rewritten and much improved.

The main site appears to be Joomla 1.5, which is occasionally dug up along side archeopteryx.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:07 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
abbadon,

I haven't followed the discussion but how do you know it's on a VPS?

As someone who (amongst other things) also does this for a living, abbadon is correct. A well trafficked forums is going to struggle on a VPS. The issue is almost certainly to do with database response time.

The main randi.org website appears to be with a different provider altogether, has it been having performance issues?

Both the forum and the main website appear to be using very old versions of their respective software (vbulletin and joomla). More recent versions are both more secure and faster.
Someone posted a listing in the depths of the "Slow Forum" thread. It appears to be a moveable feast. Any time I look it up I get different results. Haven't done it lately. Any time I did, I got the impression there was a lot of domain parking going on on that server. In theory, parked domains should not generate much if any traffic, but if they are pretesting their software before launch to a live environment, it could cause bug issues.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:07 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
The forum is on dedicated hardware that cannot be sustained. A move to new hardware and software is needed. That's the issue that must be solved.

I would like the admins to contact me so we can work out details. I don't know who will take charge of supplying the final input on behalf of the forum but would like that established so we can start moving this ahead.

Also, if you are willing to help with the nuts and bolts discussion, that will need to progress via email. Send me your email address and your capabilities.

Sharon@randi.org
Sharon:

I do not have the expertise to make suggestions, but please add me to the list of willing experimenters--if you need guinea pigs, let me know.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:32 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Never used version vBulletin 5 to be honest. JREF forums are on 3.7.7 however. Version 4 was architecturally completely rewritten and much improved.

The main site appears to be Joomla 1.5, which is occasionally dug up along side archeopteryx.
Tried Joomla before, didn't think much of it, but lets face it, they all have their pros and cons. Given the plethora of all the migration tools available, it is moot which platform is selected.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:53 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Tried Joomla before, didn't think much of it, but lets face it, they all have their pros and cons. Given the plethora of all the migration tools available, it is moot which platform is selected.
I love Joomla, we use it for a bunch of sites - you can get some pretty amazing sites up very quickly. It's not however appropriate for everything, despite being much improved since the earlier versions.

As basic CMS's go I would think the main JREF site would be better served on wordpress. Having said that, if it ain't broke don't fix it, but it definitely needs upgrading for security reasons (though I note there is a security proxy in place with their host)
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:14 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Thank you so much for your creative and constructive bitching.

Can you help? If so, please do.
I did. It was reject on the basis that there are top men working on it. TOP MEN!
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:23 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
The forum is on dedicated hardware that cannot be sustained. A move to new hardware and software is needed. That's the issue that must be solved.
As others have pointed out, this seems a pretty simple discussion/decision. The JREF knows, or should know, what resources are invested in the forums today, and what it would take to modernize and somewhat future-proof them. The big open question is what resources JREF is willing to commit going forward. Are we talking a new server in house and a dedicated cable connection from the local internet provider, or a corporate hosting/mirroring service with Rackspace or Akamai... or something in between?

I've had a serialized donation to JREF, matched by by employer, for years now, and that amount alone would cover a decent hosting service (I pay less annually to godaddy to host my few low-volume sites). I'd be happy to change that to be earmarked *specifically* for supporting the forum hosting if this is simply a matter of cash in the right bucket. I bet others would, too.
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:42 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
I love Joomla, we use it for a bunch of sites - you can get some pretty amazing sites up very quickly. It's not however appropriate for everything, despite being much improved since the earlier versions.

As basic CMS's go I would think the main JREF site would be better served on wordpress. Having said that, if it ain't broke don't fix it, but it definitely needs upgrading for security reasons (though I note there is a security proxy in place with their host)
All of the various flavours have good and bad points.

I will state here and now that if JREF folds, I will host a new site at my own expense once it is gone.
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:53 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
The forum is on dedicated hardware that cannot be sustained.

Are you sure, it seems another member disagrees with you. Can you please confirm that this forum is hosted on a dedicated server and not a shared or virtual server??

And what in the world do you mean by "cannot be sustained"? A dedicated server that would host this forum just splendidly would only cost a couple hundred $$ per month and several of us have said that we would gladly chip in and cover that cost entirely.


Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
A move to new hardware and software is needed.

Hardware, sure, but software??

As I said in my previous post another user found another forum using the exact same version of vBulletin as we are. That forum is larger and more active and works fine. So unless you believe it to be one of the add-ons we are using, why do you continue to say a software upgrade is needed?

So much conflicting information in this thread.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:24 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
All of the various flavours have good and bad points.
Haha, CMS wars! It can get almost as bad as Apple vs Android wars, or console wars!

I like Wordpress, but have used Joomla and Drupal. Heck I've even coded for Liferay, that felt like swatting a fly with a Buick!
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:29 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
The forum is on dedicated hardware that cannot be sustained. ...
This is an interesting piece of information, I guess. But, could you be a little more specific? How many servers? How many processors? How many cores? How much RAM? I suspect many here would be interested reading this info.
The dedicated server building page at Softlayer is here, I believe.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:31 PM   #39
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Don't read too much into the statement, I don't know how technical idoubtit is, she could have meant dedicated in that it's a hosting environment dedicated to the forum from the site's point of view (as opposed to a hosting environment being shared by both the forum and the main site).
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:32 PM   #40
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Details, please! It should be clear by now that there are enough people here who could offer specific, constructive advice if furnished with some real information.

Are there any special reasons for this coyness? (except for, I suspect, an atavistic urge to Not Tell The Internet Proprietary Information...)
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