AnandTech 1.0

As most of you know, AnandTech started out as a static HTML site, hosted on GeoCities. Static driven sites are simply HTML based with the content contained within; dynamic driven sites fetch their content from external sources (usually database servers). Back then, static sites were quite popular while dynamic driven web sites were really just starting to catch on. In 1998, at Comdex, we laid out the first dynamic version of AnandTech.com. We decided on Oracle 8i as the database server, and ColdFusion 4.0.1 as the application server. We ran Oracle 8i and ColdFusion on two separate Sun Enterprise servers. We had no issues with Solaris or Oracle, performance-wise, but ColdFusion talking to Oracle was another story.

We developed a fairly simple content management solution that allowed us to post content through web forms. This approach to publishing saved a lot of time as content and the editorial staff grew. Articles could be posted from anywhere, and they could updated or removed at will by using our forms-based interface to the database. At that time, the content management engine was not feature-rich; it performed just the basic tasks necessary for the small editorial staff that we had.

The first version of the site was probably the most problematic version of the website (go figure), and the most difficult to maintain. Oracle is a powerful database server, without a doubt, but it lacks the finesse of Microsoft SQL Server and other database servers to some extent. The management UI leaves much to be desired (it doesn't hold a candle to SQL Server Enterprise Manager), and the language, although powerful, is not for everyone.

For ColdFusion to talk to Oracle, we had to use the Oracle Native drivers, which caused us a fair bit of grief and wasted time, as the SQL syntax had to be compatible with Oracle. When the development team consisted (and still consists) of one developer, time is critical. Speaking as the developer, I come from a SQL Server/Sybase world and while it isn't hard to pick up on Oracle's syntax, it is entirely too painful to use when time is so critical, especially when working with dates. Aside from the pain of the syntax, the native drivers also caused some anguish in ColdFusion. ColdFusion was crashing occasionally and caused some unnecessary administrative headaches that needed to be rectified each time it went down. By this time (about a year or less later), it was time to move on to something more stable.

Hardware used in version 1.0
Sun Enterprise 250 w/ 512MB Memory

View version 1.0 of the website

Index AnandTech 2.0 & 3.0
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  • bobbozzo - Monday, August 09, 2004 - link

    Jason, would you be willing to publish your # of monthly pageviews?

    We're running a single quad xeon server and wondering whether to get a faster server or a cluster. We're at almost 4million page views/mo; over 1/3 of those are searching our database.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • JasonClark - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    A behind the scenes hardware upgrade is coming soon. Reply
  • czakalw3 - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    "have learned more in 3-4 years than some people do in their entire career."

    nice one.

    beyond all the technical considerations, it seems your change of platform is nothing but a "were already commited to ms in the os so why not go all the way?"

    dont label me as a fundamentalist but cost could easily be 0 with the same results?
    Reply
  • czakalw3 - Monday, August 02, 2004 - link

    err
    Reply
  • Devnut - Saturday, July 31, 2004 - link

    One thing that seemed to be lacking in this article that was present in all the past "anandtech upgrade" articles, was much more detail in relation to the hardware changes/upgrades, and why you did what you did.

    I noticed Jason indicated SQL2000 was running on a quad opteron, so there's obviously been some significant changes. Can we expect an update on this front?
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Friday, July 30, 2004 - link

    Would you please post load information for your quad opteron?

    It would be interesting, to say the least.
    Reply
  • Staples - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    I saw this article posted a few days ago but just decided to look at the comments to see how many posts it took for the Linux fanboys to show themselves. Apparently not long. Anywho, I am just starting out with the whole .net thing since I have heard such good things about it. This article is just another one. Reply
  • RZaakir - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    Man I wish the these PHP fanboys would realize that Microsoft actually has a few good products. I think that PHP is superior to ASP classic in many ways but PHP (version 4 anyway) and ASP.NET aren't even in the same league. Period. You'd be better off making a JSP vs. ASP.NET argument as they are similar products.

    Does MySQL have stored procedures in a production version yet?
    Reply
  • JasonClark - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    FFS, I don't care for HardOCP's design, it's dated and the black background isnt for us... THe design looks great, I think the only way to get more clean is to remove more ads... but that isn't going to happen. Speed-wise, I think you have some issues somewhere, here the page shows in less than 3 tenths of a second. Benchmarks indicate about 2 tenths. Reply
  • Macaw - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    You've been blogged: http://blogs.msdn.com/jrule

    Reply

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