The new MXNA (AXNA?)

First, I personally apologize for the downtime. We’ve been meaning to find MXNA a new home for quite a while now, and we finally decided to make the time to do it. Ironically, as we were working on moving the code over to the Adobe cluster, the old weblogs server went down in a big way. We’re still not sure what happened, but for some reason, Java was core dumping a few minutes after starting JRun. Rather than spending too much time fixing the old server, we decided to look ahead, put up an "under construction" page, and focus on the new platform.

Mike Chambers and I wrote MXNA five years ago, thinking we would aggregate a few dozen popular blogs. 100 at the most. We initially put it on our own server which we expensed every month. When we outgrew that, we moved it to a single Macromedia server which Mike and I managed entirely ourselves. That worked out well for a couple of years until we outgrew it, as well. By that time, we were Adobe — a much larger company with more infrastructure — so moving it over to the cluster was a fairly involved task.

But we didn’t just spread MXNA across a few more servers. As we began approaching 2,000 feeds, it became clear that the same code that managed 100 feeds wasn’t doing such a good job managing 1,800. So I finally set aside a day, installed CF8, imported the production database, and with some pointers from Ben Forta (I’d never even used CF8 before — I’ve been focusing on AIR for the last two years), started optimizing.

I spent most of my time rewriting queries, and working on reducing the number of queries per request. The most dramatic change I made was optimizing the search query which went from about 30 seconds to one or two. Be sure to give it a try.

Again, sorry not just for the recent downtime, but for all the intermittent downtime over the last year or so. Hopefully we’re past all that, and MXNA (AXNA?) will become a valuable community resource again.