OK, not a billion times, but more like 6 times faster than we were a month ago.
When we first started out, PBwiki was super-fast because there wasn’t much going on. As we’ve grown two things have happened – first, we’ve added lots of useful features and second, we now have lots more traffic all the time. The new editor in particular has led to lots more users being comfortable with editing, and it’s a lot of code to serve up, so we were serving lots more data more frequently to lots more people. For a while we were working our original servers way too hard and the system wasn’t always keeping up with the strain.
Two things have changed: First, we purchased a big pile of fast new servers. Second, we rewrote a lot of the core of PBwiki’s code to scale more effectively. We wrote a lot of new code and also take advantage of a bunch of open source projects, including Pound, Lighttpd, Apache, eAccelerator, MySQL, Memcached, and MogileFS.
Shiny, happy, mostly idle servers
At the same time, we’ve got lots more storage headroom. We were running a little low for a while there and now we’ve got at least 6 months of space for new wiki data and attachments, assuming our current growth rates. Combined with our much-improved server monitoring system (thanks to mon, monit, cacti, and some hand-made stuff) we’ve got a great picture of how the service is running and for the first time in a while our servers are as happy as our users.