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Network Diagram

Behind the scenes your free forum is routed through world class network equipment operated by staff. We are constantly investing in our infrastructure, hardware, and software to make sure your forum has a rock solid home. Below are a few key points about our advanced technology:

High-end Hardware operates an advanced network of servers (seen on the right) for our many hosted forums. All customer data is distributed across several massive MySQL storage servers each utilizing Dual Intel Xeon 5400 CPUs, 16gigs ram, and eight-disk 15000RPM, SAS RAID arrays.  This distribution ensures that problems with any one server will not affect other servers and also provides for adequate power across the entire network.

Load Balancing utilizes the Zeus ZXTM Load Balancing software to distribute all incoming requests for forums across its Intel Xeon 5400 web servers.  Zeus provides us with a seamless way to distribute requests and handle down web servers without causing interruption to the viewers.  All incoming requests land at the Zeus ZXTM server.  Zeus then selects a backend web node to serve the request based on the current load of each node and historical data to suggest which node has the most available processing power.  In the event that a node is unreachable, it is removed from the pool and all requests are redirected to another node. The result is if one web server goes down, there is no noticeable effect on end users and no downtime.

Use of Cache
Due to the pure volume of traffic that does across our network of forums, we've run into some scaling issues in the past. One solution has been to utilize Memcache on every level possible. Memcache reduces the read/write load on our MySQL servers as we are able to store stats, configuration data, etc into the memory of our web servers. Doing this prevents us from having to access the MySQL disks more often and results in pages loading faster.

Reliable Backups
We take protecting our customers' data very seriously. In order to provide more reliable and smoother backups, we've adopted a "point-in-time" backup system with easy point-click file restorations. Our complex backup system runs continuously and in the background. We are able to backup most servers every 15 minutes, while others run on daily backups. We are also able to keep weeks worth of backups to ensure that we have backups to recover from any problem.