News, Notes, and Items of Interest
IPv6 deployed in the US
About time eh?  Posted on Dec 6, 2020 11:00 -0400

We’re happy to announce that IPv6 server addresses have added to our US location. A few recently reported speed issues were tracked back to the user’s service provider IPv6->IPv4 gateway. Anyone that is accessing our service over IPv6 will probably see a significant bump in speed since your traffic will no longer flow via these gateways. We’ve already seen about 15% of our traffic shift over to the IPv6 address and expect a bit more once DNS fully propagates. Please message support if you have any odd issues and you’re on IPv6.

We’re working on EU and expect to have it finished this evening or early Monday.

NVMe spool set
How fast do you wanna go?  Posted on Dec 2, 2020 12:00 -0400

We had a new partner planning to use our backbone early December and needed to handle a decent traffic increase. We didn’t expect any issues with our existing infrastructure but wanted to ensure that we could handle the additional load. While researching solutions we found it fascinating that article age metrics are so skewed towards very new articles. It makes sense if you think about it. The news cycle is quick these days. Most people prefer new news over old news.

Below is a snapshot of age metrics we generated from backend spool i/o stats.


We have a massive amount of articles going back many years, but the graph clearly shows that a large percentage (40%+) of the articles read are less than 7d old. Working with the assumption that our new partner would have a similar usage pattern, we decided to deploy a shallow NVMe spool set in front of our normal HDD (7200rpm SAS) cluster.

US (IAD) load balancing
We're now using hardware based server load balancers in the US.  Posted on Jun 22, 2020 12:00 -0400

Since day one we’ve been using DNS to load balance customer connections to our farm. This has worked well and we’ve been happy with it over the years. As we’ve grown we’ve noted one downside and that’s the excessive use of IP addresses as we grow. This issue is compounded as we add resellers. Basically each front-end requires an IP per reseller. When you’re growing as fast as we are it adds up quickly. So…

Today we started moving over to a redundant hardware solution using DSR (direct server return). In addition to using a lot less IPv4 addresses, we also get a few more benefits from the new setup. We’ll be able to preform maintenance on front-end servers easier (without having to wait for DNS to update) and we expect the load to be more uniformly balanced over the front-ends. We don’t expect the change to be noticeable to end users but please report any issues you experience.

Planned Network Maintenance
Cogent scheduled network maintenance  Posted on Mar 21, 2020 12:00 -0400

Cogent (one of our bandwidth providers) will be preforming network maintenance during the following window:

Start time: 12:00 am eastern 03/27/2020

End time: 3:00 am eastern 03/27/2020

Expected Outage/Downtime: 60-90 minutes

During this maintenance window, you will experience one or more brief interruptions in service while Cogent completes the maintenance activities; the interruptions are expected to last less than 60-90 minutes total.

Most of our traffic will fail over to one of our redundant connections, but with the high usage we’re currently seeing from COVID-19, we expect traffic to be slowed down a bit.

Leap Year Sale
The sale that only comes every four years  Posted on Feb 28, 2020 12:00 -0400

We have two amazing sales starting tomorrow (2/29/2020)!

To celebrate leap year we’re offering four years of unlimited access for only $95. What a deal!

Coupon code LEAPYEAR

4yr unlimited for $95

For those of your looking for a yearly account instead, we’re offering a full year of unlimited access for $29!

1yr unlimited for $29