We’ve had to make some adjustments to our server because our server resources were being pushed to the max. It was getting to the point that it was affecting the stability and performance of the server. And it was affecting Professional Appliantologist users who pay an annual fee to support the site.
When server resources get limited, you can do one of two things:
1. get a bigger server
2. allocate server resources among users
We did the bigger server thing a few years ago and, while it helped a lot for a while, we're maxing out again. We just can't afford any more server hardware right now so that leaves us with managing server resources.
Our server hosts several busy Samurai sites, including Appliantology.org and the Samurai Tech Academy. To ensure a fast and stable user experience for all users on all sites, limited computer resources need to be allocated appropriately among the various user groups. There are basically three ways to accomplish this:
1. Limit file download count: x number of files over a given period of time
2. Limit bandwidth: the total amount of data transferred over a given period of time
3. Limit file transfer rate: the rate at which data is downloaded from the server
We implemented file download count limits back in March 2015. But file download count limits have two big problems:
1. inconveniences legacy members
2. does not directly address the problem of allocating limited server resources
So we tried bandwidth limits. But that prevented downloading very large files. Not an ideal solution, either.
Then we realized the perfect solution: limit file transfer rates! Limiting file transfer speeds allows downloads of any size file. The limitation is now properly placed on server resources, as it should be, not on file access.
This means that our valued legacy members, Chief Appliantologists, have no limits on download count! We are thrilled that we have found a way to offer access to the entire, ever-growing library of tech sheets and service manuals.
The downsides to the new file transfer rate limits are longer download times and only one download at a time (no simultaneous downloads)-- a regrettable inconvenience but one that is also avoidable. If you’d like to reduce your download time and download multiple file simultaneously (in essence, buy more server resources) you can upgrade your membership to Professional Appliantologist: http://appliantology.org/store/
We're pleased that we can offer file downloads to our Professional Appliantologist members with unrestricted file transfer rates, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited download count, and unlimited simultaneous downloads (in addition to lots of other perks).