Monday, March 12, 2012

Tease (1)

I got some mixed news at work last week, either mostly-good or mostly-bad depending on your perspective. I’m leaning towards mostly-good, but then again it is Monday and I’m just coming off a weekend which managed to be both fairly restful and fairly productive, two very important restorative elements. It’s entirely possible that by Thursday or Friday the work goings-on will not seem quite so shiny.

The gist is that one of the web applications for which I am responsible, the one which gets the heaviest day-to-day use and (not coincidentally) tends to suffer the highest incidence of performance glitches and whatnot, is going to be offloaded onto a new server. The person responsible for the current server’s maintenance contacted me to verify some specification benchmarks a new server would have to meet to make the transfer possible. I’ve been of the opinion for quite a while that this is something which needs to happen, as the web app continues to suffer from poor performance in ways which are only getting worse with every passing month, almost all of them due to issues like lack of disk space as the database grows and more users access it combined with the proliferation of other programs on the same server, all squeezing the life out of the decrepit old processor. I’ve even gone so far as to ask for our web app to be moved to a new server, and I would have been perfectly happy with dividing up the current load across two servers (as opposed to irrationally demanding we get a dedicated server all our own, which I know is pure fantasy), but in the past I’ve always been told there are no extra resources end of discussion. So the sudden policy reversal was a very pleasant surprise.

What I imagine the current server looks like.
The bad news is that while the idea has gained some necessary traction it is not explicitly a 100% done deal just yet. And if it does come to pass, it likely won’t be any time soon. So I still have to contend with my application limping along on a not entirely stable platform for a while yet, but I’m choosing to look on the bright side of that as well: if this were happening next week it would undoubtedly become a botched up rush job where something crucial got overlooked and my application was no longer limping but effectively dead in a ditch. Plus this way I have something to look forward to for a while, and the quotidian ministrations the current configuration requires will give me something to do so I can look busy.

Still, it was kind of a tease to get an e-mail out of the blue asking for specs for a new server, to which I replied immediately with the info requested as well as my own questions about when it would happen, only to receive “not for a while, if at all” in response. But the way things usually go around here I will take my miniscule movements of the emotional needle and my promises of slight improvements wherever I can get them.


  1. Presently I work for Dell and I found your blog quite interesting and informative. I think dedicated server is a single computer on a web-hosting network that is leased or rented, and dedicated to just one customer.

    1. Right, "dedicated server" is a real thing that can be defined, so by "pure fantasy" I didn't mean it was equivalent to "perpetual motion machine" or something conceptually impossible. I just meant that the chances of my project meriting one in the big picture are effectively zero, which makes the scenario unreal.