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Netvouz - Online Social Bookmark Manager - Save, Tag and Share your bookmarks

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Netvouz becomes a GrabPERF monitoring agent

I've been a long time user of GrabPERF (hey - I've even sponsored the site because it was so useful to me!) and when GrabPERF needed more monitoring agents, I decided to help out. So now I am hosting a GrabPERF monitoring agent on a dedicated Linux box in my apartment in Gothenburg, Sweden. This has nothing to do with Netvouz really (the GrabPERF agent and Netvouz servers are not in the same location), but I have always used GrabPERF to keep an eye on the Netvouz performance.

In addition to that I have also done some DNS changes to Netvouz and these have also improved the responsiveness of Netvouz. Here's what the GrabPERF top 20 list looked today - Netvouz has climbed to 3rd place for the homepage (a new measurement) and about 10th place for the tag search. These figures vary as site response times vary, but it's nice to see that the DNS change clearly made a difference.

I also have some other performance improvements on my to do list which I will implement and roll out as soon as possible. And the neat thing is that these will also have side effects which will improve the quality of the bookmarks and the value Netvouz brings to our users.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Silence is good! Silence means hard work...

First I must apologize to everyone for not posting more often to this Netvouz blog. I know there is a stream of Netvouz users that visit the blog regularly, and if I were you I would be turned off by not having any news to read.

But silence on the blog is actually good! Because when I don't write blog posts I work hard on developing Netvouz and our service. So less posts means more development time. And more development time means a better service. And a better service means more users!

So today I post because I want to share some figures with you. As you can see from the graphs below Netvouz is seeing a substantial increase in traffic (read members and visitors), and the traffic increase the first quarter this year is quite impressive.

Statsaholic traffic graph

This graph shows the Netvouz traffic according to Statsaholic (who gets their data from Alexa). As you can see Netvouz has been gaining traffic at a healthy rate for quite a while. And after a slight drop late 2006 (perhaps because of our DNS problems), we are seeing a substantial increase in traffic the first quarter this year.

Compete traffic graph
The second graph comes from Compete and just as Alexa they also measure a significant increase in traffic in 2007. Quite impressive, don't you think?

Quantcast traffic graph
The third and final traffic graph is from Quantcast, another company trying to measure site traffic. Their analysis follows the same pattern as the other two and also shows a massive increase in traffic in 2007.

But more traffic means a slower service, right? No!

Netvouz has also been tracked by GrabPERF for a couple of years, and the graph below shows our response times from their measurement locations in the US over the past year.

As you can see, since we upgraded our servers in mid November our response times (from the US) have been cut by 50%, going down from 1-1.5s to 0.5-0.7s. The spike in mid November was when we ran on our slower backup servers for a week. Now, overlay this graph with the traffic graphs above (you have to do it in your head yourself) and you realize that as our traffic has increased our response times have actually gone down! How come? Well.... That's how I spend my time when I don't post to the blog....

Another fun thing is that Netvouz has also made it into the GrabPERF top 20 list (albeit in the 20th place...).

This may not sound like a big achievement, but if you look at the details of a GrabPERF request, shown below, you will see that it actually is.

On this particular request detailed above, GrabPERF could quickly find the IP address for www.netvouz.com (because most of our DNS servers are hosted in the US). But then it took 0.17s for the GrabPERF request to travel from the US to Europe, where the Netvouz servers are located. GrabPERF then received the reply after 0.24s, and after an additional 0.18s the whole page (only 6kB) were transmitted. If you sum this up you end up with a total response time of 0.59s, which is what is shown in the GrabPERF response graph above.

But how much time did Netvouz actually spend processing this request? Well, approximately 0.24-0.17 = 0.07s, or 70ms. The bulk part of the remaining time (0.5s+) is "penalty" because the Netvouz servers are located in Europe. So if we would have our servers in the US and we would have the same transfer times as most other sites being tracked (such as Technorati, Google, Skype etc.) we would probably be among the top sites.

But performance isn't everything, and every Netvouz visitor is not in the US, and Netvouz is among the top 5 bookmarking services in other aspects, so I'm very happy anyway!!

And rest assured, while we continue adding new useful features, we will always always keep an eye on performance.

Next feature to launch is our third generation spam protection. It's in the works...