Just a song before we go...
First off, we have no intention of discontinuing Thrasher's Wheat in the immediate future.
With that said, we need to give you a heads up on a couple of things coming over the next few weeks. Mainly, that blogging will be very intermittent and sporadic until after May 1.
And we'll get more into that in just a bit. We're going to cover a bunch of different topics here so bear with us.
A couple of weeks ago, we asked for your support as we continued to experience a variety of technical issues mainly involving the site going down due to excessive bandwidth consumption.
And thanks to all of the kind and supportive readers of this blog, we were able to upgrade our service just in time for the huge traffic crush when Neil Young performed at the Olympics Closing Ceremonies.
Site Traffic on March 1
Day Following Neil Young's Olympics Performance
Immediately following Neil Young's Olympics performance, traffic spiked far in excess of what our early service level would have handled. Incredibly, after Neil's conclusion at the Olympics Closing Ceremonies, we were seeing a peak in excess of 2,000 simultaneous unique blog visitors per minute. So thanks to everyone who contributed last month letting us upgrade service just in time.
February 28, 2010 @ 10:12 PM EST
First Image Posted to Internet on TW of
Neil Young at Olympics Closing Ceremonies
So we have no idea what else might happen in 2010, but it seems quite evident that Neil can really "move the needle" and melt servers here at Thrasher's Wheat.
Anyways. Let's just face it. What we're doing here on this blog has really just about outgrown our capacity to administer. The complexity, comments section monitoring and editorial/writing/proofing, etc. -- while quite fun in most regards -- is quite a bit of a challenge to deal with as we go out the door in the morning and before we call it a day each night.
Our technical infrastructure can no longer handle the current arrangement so there will be change ahead. We'd like to confidently say this will all be transparent but it -- undoubtedly -- will not. Right now, Thrasher's Wheat utilizes way too many servers for the publishing, file hosting, image storage, ad serving, feed generation, scripting, etc. These factors are what cause the slow page loads -- not withstanding the fact that we've intentionally designed a "heavy load" site.
In order to help improve things, we will be integrating the publishing and file servers. This will involve a full site migration to new URL's. That's where things get quite hairy. Believe me, the last thing in the world we want to do is change around URL's and do a site migration but this is what needs to be done to improve performance.
If you want all the bloody details on deprecating FTP hosts, canonical sub-domain names, and other technical stuff, see here.
This will be the 4th complete server migration since the site was founded in 1996. Honestly, we'd rather have a root canal than go through this again. Particularly after the one we did in 2005 when we said never again.
We're going to try and make this is as smooth as possible but one thing that falls off the table is regular blogging. We'll setup an open thread just below this post where folks can post whatever news they might have. Also, be sure to check feeds in right sidebar and sources like neilyoung.org - Neil Young links - reconnecting thoughts and actions and Purple Words on a Grey Background.
With luck, things will be back to normal by May 1.
Just to wrap up, thanks again for everyone's support for what we do here at Thrasher's Wheat. We couldn't do it without you. Because we believe in you.
Be the Rain. Be the Wheat.
Thrasher & Thrashette