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On the move

Posted Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 12:13:00 am
I know it's been a while since I've last posted something, and I apologize for that. My job leaves very little time for stuff like this, but I've been fairly motivated by recent events - namely my 12-year Internet service provider starting to really suck - to take inventory of the websites I run, and what I need to do with them.

So I came across this tweet today:



While the concept of winning an Aston Martin is appealing in its own right, what interested the geek in me was the fact that MSDN subscribers actually have free Windows Azure credits. Azure is basically a hosting service with a lot of bells and whistles. I checked and saw I get $100 per month credit, and started poking around to see what I can do. I've got a VM with Windows Server and SQL Server up, and am starting to look into experimenting with getting my pet project that has long since been ignored, Cheevos FTW!, up and running on Azure to see how much it'll cost, and how well it performs.

Well, then I got into the small problem that the database for Cheevos is pushing 200 GB. Yikes. I figure that since I have over 6 million characters logged with their achievements, I can afford to cut back some, but that'll still make for a fairly large database. So the plan is to split the database into two pieces. One piece would have the summary data - which runs under 1 MB - and would reside on Azure while the big piece would still be stored here. I'll periodically update the summary data on the server using some kind of API call that will update the database. Meanwhile, when a player enters their character name on Azure, it'll use the API to retrieve their data and compare it to the summary data and store who it loaded. Then I'll download that data back to the big database and crunch the summary numbers periodically. In theory, it sounds kind of smooth.

In practice, there's a lot I need to change about Cheevos to speed it up some, and hopefully this pass over it will give me the opportunity to get that site speedy again.

The next site to go over would most certainly be roncli.com, but that still has a LOT of work left on it before it's even ready for prime time. I've been flopping over whether to launch with just pages and the blog, or if I should wait until I have the music and gaming sections going as well. With the time I've been having lately, though, it's looking less likely that it'll be launched in a reasonable time frame, and by then I'll probably need to reboot the website all over again for a third time. Perhaps I need to just find a way to make time to work on all of this, but I don't see that happening in the near future.

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