Posted by Joe Oldak on

An update on the recent changes.

The Voice system has moved to a new server, with quite a lot of updates in the software system. This has been causing a few issues this week, though we're most of the way to having these all ironed out!

So, first, the annoyances:

  • You may have noticed the site running slowly from time to time. This occurred when publishing CMS content, and made the entire system run slowly for a while afterwards. This is mostly cured now, though there are still a few more imrovements to be made.
  • There's an ongoing problem with delivering email to hotmail/outlook/msn addresses, because Microsoft's email servers are blocking the new IP address of the Voice server. Their support team are looking into this "as fast as they can" and so hopefully email delivery will start working again to these addresses soon!

OK so what's the good stuff?

The change in server software is mostly 'under the hood' and you won't see too much difference, but it does have lots of advantages, some of which I'll list here:

  • Support for latest https encryption protocols, and removing some older less secure ones.
  • More up to date and secure server software.
  • Support for HTTP/2 for faster browsing.
  • Server can now fetch https links with latest protocols, so the news feeds will be more reliable, and we can start doing outbound link checking from all sites again (more on this in the near future).
  • More flexible server software allowing requests to be channeled based on whether the client is a real person, a web robot, or monitoring software. (this prevents robots using up all the connections, and allows the system to be monitored easily even under heavy load)
  • Improved monitoring of threads, caches, memory, and locks (allowing me to find and eliminate performance problems that have been around for a long time)
  • And more, but you get the idea!

Anything else?

Most of my time recently has been working on the new server setup, though there have also been a few minor updates that are more useful to all:

  • A Wide Logo option for the Fresh theme, for sites wanting more of the top area of the site dedicated to their logo.
  • Option to choose font colour in the Background Image includelet.
  • Extra aspect ratio options for images in includelets.

Thanks all!