Today I spent some time working with Lottery Post's SQL Server database engine, tuning the performance. It seems there were a few tricks that I wasn't utilizing before, in order to use memory on the server more effectively.
After making some changes, it appears that they seem to be paying off.
Just about every page is showing some performance increase, and on some pages the increase is dramatic.
Lack of proper tuning is the reason many web sites suffer performance problems, and tuning is one thing a developer can do that directly impacts performance, without affecting functionality.
When I built all the servers that run Lottery Post, I built a stand-alone server dedicated to running the database, and that server has some very impressive specs:
- 4u SuperMicro rack server
- Dual 3.26 GHz Intel Xeon processors
- 8GB RAM
- 9-disk RAID 5 array, using 73 GB 10,000 RPM Seagate HDs
- 1 identical hot backup disk, which immediately (and automatically) replaces any failed disk in the array
- Triple-redundant power supplies with automatic failover
- Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition
- Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise
It's definitely the most powerful machine I've personally ever put together, and it's nice that I'm finally leveraging all the power out of it.
For those who don't know, it's rare to have a forum with so much history online, specifically because the databases run out of steam at a certain point. It's a really cool thing (and a big benefit for LP users) to overcome that problem.
That, combined with the Predictions system, with almost 15 million individual predictions posted online, would be nearly impossible anywhere else.