The PBwiki team is on our annual officeÂ offsite, and we’ve been spending lots of quality time together brainstorming about new product possibilities, ways to make PBwiki more useful to our users, and how to make PBwiki the obvious answer for your online collaborative needs. In addition to the longer-term strategic planning and such, we’ve also been doing some late-night hacking of ‘hey, you know what would be cool…’ features and enhancements — ideas we’ve had in our heads for a while but weren’t fleshed-out enough for prime-time or didn’t fit into the development schedule.
Tonight we’ve deployed the results of some kung-fu from last night, a new feature for premium wikis. All of your wiki’s pages are stored in memory, ready for display to you and to search through. While we’ve got a super-efficient distributed file storage for every page revision and attachment (millions!), it’s still on disks on remote machines. We’re restricting this to paying customers because it consumes by far the most expensive resource on our servers, RAM. There’s no downside for non-premium wikis and we’re not making them any slower. As we build out our server hardware we’ll make sure we have enough RAM to accommodate all of the premium wikis this way in addition to our normal caching mechanisms.
The result: Pages on premium wikis load 10-40% faster depending on size, and searches are up to 10 times faster. We’re pretty happy with the new speed boost, and think you will be too.