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Jul 21, 2014

Tutorial: Is Your Current Server Setup Costing You Big Time?

By Nana Gilbert-Baffoe, View comments
I get requests for help with scaling issues so often that I thought I'd take some time to create a series of articles about the topic. Today I'm going to talk about architecting your server stack for better efficiency.

If you are like most people I talk to, you have one multiple purpose web server. It runs your Prosper202 ClickServer, databases, and hosts your landing pages. You may even be using it to host your Wordpress blogs as well. When things start to slow down you contact your friendly hosting partner and request a bigger faster server, everything still runs on the same server, but it's more powerful. You may not realize this, but you are wasting resources and not getting the best out of your technology budget

I'd like to propose a a better way

Instead of lumping everything up together into one server, break things up into multiple specialized servers. The simplest upgrade to what you are probably doing right now is to have a dedicated app server and a database server.

The App Server

As the name implies, the App server is where all your applications reside. This includes your Prosper202 ClickServer software, Wordpress, and any other scripts that you may have for your marketing and business needs. You are now free to optimize your configurations to enable that server to run scripts and applications efficiently.

The Database server

You will now have a dedicated machine just for your databases. On this machine you can eliminate all the server process and applications that have nothing to do with running a database. For example, you don't really need php on the server that runs your database. So this frees up more memory and cpu for your database to do what it does best. You can also spend more on components that really matter to your database such as the best and fastest SSD hard drives, and memory upgrades.

By employing the concept of specialization, you are able to get the most of out your hardware. But most importantly, your entire technology stack runs more smoothly. Later on, when you are ready to scale up to an even more efficient and high availability setup, you will have the building blocks needed to start off on the right track.

Taking things to the next level of geekness

Here's an example of a setup that you could have your tech team build out for you.

All traffic is sent first to a load balancer. Think of a load balancer as a traffic director. The load balancer will then forward the traffic on to one of your multiple app servers. This means that you will have more than one server handling your traffic. At the minimum you can have 2 app servers, but 3 is even better. With 3 app servers, each one can handle 33% of your server load and if something goes wrong with one server, the load balancer will automatically stop sending traffic to that machine, and redirect everything to the remaining two servers. This also allows you to do maintenance or swap in a new server with zero downtime.

Next, you have your caching layer. Usually this is something like Memcached. You can run this as a standalone server or if you have extra ram available, you could run it on each of your app servers. The cache layer speeds up database read operations by allowing you to not to use the database constantly for reading data. Instead of doing a database query, it can pull that data directly from RAM. This alone can speed things up by 10x or more, because RAM is so much faster than even the fasted SSD hard drives. We built our BlazerCache Technology on top of Memcached, so to activate it, just install a Memcached server and tell Prosper202 where to find it. BlazerCache will be activated automatically.

Finally, you have your database servers. You will have the main database, and a replica or replication database. The replica is kept in sync with the main database and is ready to take over in the event of any down time on your main database server. You can also use the replica for read only operations. When you are running reports, since you are not actually changing any of the data already saved in your Proper202 ClickServer, the replica database is perfect for this. So you offload all the reporting work to that replica, leaving the main database with more resource to focus on writing new data as quickly as possible.

Now you know that having your servers perform specialized tasks can help you achieve better performance, scalability and availability from your server. For anyone doing serious volume, the bottle neck created by an inefficient server setup costs thousands in lost revenue, sometimes on a daily basis. I hope this quick guide puts you on the right path to solving your growing pains.

Your Homework For Today

Talk to your hosting provider about splitting things up onto a minimum of two servers. I've made the architecture diagram available in PDF format to share with your tech team when you are ready to upgrade your server setup.

Alternatively, you may also want to signup for a hosted Tracking202 ClickServer account. We take care of all of this for you and more. Download Optimized Tracking Server Architecture Diagram (PDF: 143kb)

My team and I are also available to consult and build out complex system architectures like this and better with a limited number of clients every month.

Jul 02, 2014

Hey Networks and Advertisers We Built This For You Too

By Nana Gilbert-Baffoe, View comments
Imagine this scenario: What if you were given a way to share your best offers with your publishers? And unlike with email, every single one of them would see your message without having to pass the spam filters or fighting for attention along with hundreds of other emails?

What if you were handed a system to message thousands of quality new publishers who want to hear from you?

What if all the friction of setting up your offers were eliminated, allowing your publishers to get up and running at a click of a button? No more technical issues, and now your publisher managers can spend more time building relationships with your publishers instead of trying to do tech support.

All this may feel like a pipe dream, and I felt the same way too, until I found we were getting 100% open rates and almost 20% click through rates on our communications with publishers -- publishers like the ones looking to hear from you right now.

We were able to do all of this with our all new Targeted Direct Messaging System (TDMS), which is built into the new version of Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.x.

So now, if you want to send a message to only the publishers who aren't already working with you, it's simple. You can even filter by experience level, specialty, traffic sources used, and more.

How about if you have a brand new offer you want to get some traffic on? Just use our TDMS to connect with the publishers who are already active and have accounts with you. They'll see your message inside their Prosper202 ClickServer, and this is optimal moment and place to reach them because they are in the right place and mindset to take action right away.

Once they decide to take action and test the offer, they simply have to click a button, instead of having to login to their publisher accounts, finding the offer, copying the link, and then coming back to Prosper202 to get it setup and formatted for correct tracking. We can even automatically set up postbacks and pixels. By now you can see how this would get more publishers actively testing your campaigns.

We are doing all of this so that you can help your publishers to generate more revenue, and since your success is tied to their success, it's a clear win-win for everyone.

So now you've read what we have to offer, you see how it can benefit your business, and you want to be a part of this right away. Great! We'd love to have you on board. We have a few spots open for an early adopter limited beta for a handful of Networks and Advertisers.

Click now to get started

Include a short introduction and details about your network or offer.

Jul 01, 2014

Have You Clicked This Button Lately?

By Nana Gilbert-Baffoe, View comments
One of my biggest goals is to improve the level of support and communication that I provide to Prosper202 ClickServer users.

For Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.x we added a new 1-to-1 in-app messaging system that allows you to reach the Prosper202 team directly, and by team I mean me and my head developer.

If you are on the newest version of Prosper202 ClickServer, look for this button.

When you press it, you will get a dialog box that allows you to type in your:
  • Questions
  • Comments
  • Suggestions
  • Complaints
  • Praises
  • Whatever is on your mind...

I've already had a lot of insightful conversations and interactions with many of you, and I'd love to hear from the rest of you more often.
Obviously since there are only two of us, it may take longer to reply back when we get a big influx of messages. But one thing that's assured, is that we read everything that gets sent.

So the next time you login to your Prosper202 ClickServer, click the blue button and say hello.

Not Yet On Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.4? Download it now

May 19, 2014

Prosper202 1.8.4 is here: Download for free

By Nana Gilbert-Baffoe, View comments
Seems like only yesterday that Prosper202 1.8.3 was launched and today we are happy to announce Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.4.

In Prosper202 1.8.4, we are launching a brand new rules based rotator to allow you to redirect clicks based on a whole slew of criteria.

Here's a preview video showing how it works

What else is new in Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.4?

  • We migrated all old database tables to InnoDB. You should notice improved performance and less cases of corrupted tables because of this.
  • We fixed an error where subids were not being passed for IE users
  • We added a change log to show you what's new in every release
  • We got rid of all short php tags in the code. Some hosts don't support short tags and so this was caused issue for some looking to upgrade.
  • We fixed an error in the way we determine MySQL database versions.

Not Yet On Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.4? Download it now

May 16, 2014

Prosper202 1.8.4 Video Preview: The New and Improved Smart Rotator

By Nana Gilbert-Baffoe, View comments
As soon as we launched Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.3 we set to work on the next version.

Today I'd like to give you a preview of the new Smart Rotator in Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.4.

If you used the rotator in 1.8.3 you will immediately see the improvement. We have other features coming up in 1.8.4 that I'll share with you later.

Not Yet On Prosper202 ClickServer 1.8.3? Get the newest version of the Prosper202 ClickServer Here and get an instant upgrade to 1.8.4 when it launches

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