Riding ‘Em Lightly

The Site-Ops and Development teams are always looking at ways to improve site performance. Typically most of these engineering efforts are focused “behind the scenes”. However for the next two weeks we’re test driving a very user facing change, CDN’ing our images.

CDN’s are Content Delivery Networks; these companies place thousands of servers in geographical diverse locations around the Interwebs. The concept being that these servers can dish out images and other navigation elements (such as CSS or JavaScript files) faster then our single colo in San Francisco. Our goal in this experiment is to decrease the page load time for members both domestically and internationally.

Please feel free to leave comments if you’re noticing faster or slower load times; please leave the name of your ISP and location. Thanks!

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31 Responses to “Riding ‘Em Lightly”

  1. scorion78 Says:

    This was posted yesterday and since I became a member yesterday I can’t say that it’s faster or not. But I’m viewing from Sweden and experiencing no long loading times, works good from here!

  2. dweazy Says:

    works terribly from the netherlands. Downloads @ 35kb/s and streaming is super choppy (unwatchable). Used to be fine. 200kb/s downloads and smooth streams. I’ll cancel my membership if this goes on for mutch longer.

  3. Fake Bill Gates Says:

    Someone set us up the Akami.

  4. Neon Says:

    very low speed from Germany, 10-15kb/s
    i hope you can solve this problem soon…

  5. scorion78 Says:

    That’s weird, yesterday it worked fine, today it’s choppy as hell like the others are saying.. definitely messed up in Swe!

  6. sparky 5150 Says:

    It is very slow. In Virginia. Fix this soon.

  7. wb Says:

    terrible service the last few days. cannot get into beta at all. regular service does not load or loads VERY slowly. verizon dsl.

  8. knat Says:

    This site used to be so fine and download speed was 1000+Kbs.. now the last few days the speed has gone down to less than 50 kbs.. whats goin on ?? Please fix this soon !

    Ps. i am from Denmark

  9. knat Says:

    Using a download manager and splitting each file into 40 parts seems to fix the speed issue for me 😀 but still the speed should not be this low !

  10. rasowe Says:

    Very poor in the UK. Streaming video is choppy and unwatchable.
    Needs rapid improvement or I will have to cancel subscription.

  11. lepstadder Says:

    became very choppy in ohio i have rr

  12. chuck jones Says:

    Slow here in Canuckistan since the beta started really. I will probably cancel.

  13. chuck jones Says:

    Oh uh, right..Bell Sympatico in Toronto

  14. ausipo Says:

    Here in netherlands also very bad. Normaly up to 500kb, at this moment 9kb so one movie (100mb)takes over 4 hours. Very disapointing after very good service over the past monthes this slow conection now takes already a couple of days.

  15. Batmania Says:

    Netherlands speed is very slow, used to be much better! In the morning the speed is a little better in the evening.
    Please fix cause i thinks it’s going to cost you members.

    Thanksin advance…

  16. Tester Says:

    I notice that I am now bombarded by Macrovision Corporation when connecting to your site. Macrovision helps ruthlessly prosecute file sharers and even *legal* video reproduction services.

    Bad move.

  17. dweazy Says:

    still utter crap speeds. VB get your act together (or at least reply!)

  18. ak Says:

    Why did you choose to put your images on a CDN? Bandwidth saturation issues, issues with the HTTP server software that serves the static files, or generally too much I/O load on the servers?

  19. dweazy Says:

    yeah, if IO on the servers is not the issue, but you just want to allow more than 2 concurrent connection, just use subdomain for your assest like


    and balance out your links to assets in your generated HTML

  20. matt Says:

    Just for some clarification on this post, the CDN trial is only against site images and navigation elements (such as JavaScript & StyleSheets); video downloads are unaffected by this service.

    @ Fake Bill Gates – Akamai hasn’t taken adult customers in a long long time, we’d love to work with them – sadly their management has decided otherwise.

    @ Batmania, ausipo, dweazy – If you’re receiving slow downloads, please use the regular channels to contact our tech support by filling out support request form from the site < http://www.videobox.com/beta/contact_us.seam
    >. Please include the name of your ISP, IP address & geographical location. We take slow download complaints very seriously and attempt to resolve them though using alternative ISP’s on our side. It’s also possible your ISP’s have started using traffic management appliances to “slow” or reset downloads to slower-then-normal speeds; this technology is extremely prevalent in the UK.

    @ Tester – We’ve never had a relationship with Macrovision. For those who aren’t familiar, you can thank Macrovision for copy protection on DVD’s among other unkind acts against consumers. Likely you downloaded a plug-in or another 3rd party tool which added this unwelcomed feature. Remember, VideoBox is proud of a DRM-free strengths and will continue to make our content available DRM-free to satisfy our userbase.

    @ak – Mostly because our userbase is growing, particularly in Europe while our own servers are located in San Francisco. A CDN provides a stop-gap solution until we build out a cluster with Europe, likely in Amsterdam or Frankfurt. Bandwidth saturation, no – all of our ISP connections are 10Gbps for some time now, I/O – no; with a decent amount of RAM and modern disks (say 15k SAS) I/O performance hasn’t been a problem for us.

  21. dustingart Says:

    Usually I had hit 300kb/s but as of late, I’ve been lucky to hit 100kb/s. So, any info as to when this issue is going to be resolved (Or changes are going to be finalized), would be greatly appreciated.

    ISP: Midcontinent

  22. dropout Says:

    To Knat and others…

    If you mean using 40 simultaneous connections per file, then I believe you’re causing excess stress to the servers and actually making the situation worse for others. I believe using 10 simultaneous (total, not per file) is more like it. If I’m not completely wrong it’s even mentioned in the site rules.

  23. dweazy Says:

    well, it seems to be okay again. for me. others?

  24. ausipo Says:

    For me at the moment its also OK again. Hope it stays this way. It took some time but good job.

  25. PeterMc Says:

    Not strictly related but what is it with loads of recent videos that the screen caps are out of sync with the streaming video. It was always a great feature that you could just skip to a part of the scene by clicking on the relevant screen cap or you could preview the whole scene by scrolling along the screen caps rather than having to watch everything.

    It’s not a major issue, the site is still by far the best I’ve seen, just a minor gripe.

  26. AMBERLEE Says:

    Downloads sooooooooo slow.Having been a member for a couple of years this is becoming impossible to download.This situation unless it improves will make me look else where and cancel my membership.Please sort the speeds out.

  27. ausipo Says:

    It was ok for one day last week but in all unstisfied over performance last 2 weeks or so. Also the home page download takes over a minute. Download of movies are at 3kb/s. Very disapointing, overall I had always good performance (only once in a while bad performance). Experimenting is Ok and at the end we all shoot benifit but this takes too long.

  28. chuck jones Says:

    Service has improved lately. Much better.

  29. benlawers Says:

    Downloads are much slower then they used to be. I am living in The Netherlands. So please do something about it. See other comments on the site.

  30. edthai1313 Says:

    downloads slow and very choppy. having said that (im in thailand) and alot of people are generaly moaning about page load up speeds and steaming problems in general over here. still gotta say excellent site content!

  31. doggy69 Says:

    Video is very choppy on the flash player. What happend?