Benchmarking, benchmarking, benchmarking ... [19th July 2003]

StatCounter should be flying along like a bat of hell right now. We now have our own dedicated server from RackShack. No one else is on this machine. It's just us folks. So we can now really fine tune the StatCounter service for ultimate efficiency. The server was actually operating under full load when we moved the system across. So we benchmarked the scripts and found out where the bottlenecks were coming from. We were able to speed up the different parts of the script to relieve this, and now the system is operating at about 50% of its load. Unfortunately our benchmarking led us to find one rather huge bottleneck remaining. These fancy artistic counter digits. They just use up far too much processing power. The rest of the counter script might take 0.001 of a second, but to render these artistic images is taking about 0.03 of a second. And when you multiply that by 1,500,000 counters a day, it's a big bottleneck. So for the first time ever, StatCounter will have to cut ever so slightly back on its feature list. Removing this one feature will allow us to serve so many more members. The really highly configurable counter options and fonts, the StatCounter button, and of course the invisible counter are all going to remain. But the resource hog feature is going to be removed.