Ads displayed for guests and not donating members only. Get ad-free by donating. If you have already donated, please read here.

View Poll Results: Upgrade the vBAddict server?

Voters
38. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, go on with the new server

    32 84.21%
  • No, keep the old server

    3 7.89%
  • I'm unsure

    3 7.89%
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 33

Thread: The future of vBAddict

  1. #1
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127

    The future of vBAddict

    Since 2011 vBAddict is providing a way to analyse your WoT dossier files. Since then, the set of features has been expanded multiple times, resulting in an growing number of interested and active users. The server has already been replaced in mid 2012, and reaches now it's limit once again. This time I don't have any options left to expand it.

    Let me first tell you about the current situation.
    This site is driven by PHP 5.6, Python 2.7 and Percona MySQL 5.6 on a Debian 8.0 Jessie Linux machine with Apache2 Web Server 2.4 and Apache Traffic Server 5. Additional tuning is made with OPCache and Memcached.
    It runs on Intel Core i7-2600 Quad-Core with 32 GB RAM, supported by two SATA Drives with 3 TB of storage running as SW RAID 1. The database is located on an 480 GB SSD. Caching is served from a 240 GB SSD. Backup of the database is done on a daily schedule.

    With this setup, vBAddict is able to handle ~16000 Users per day. During high peak times from 17-23h CET there are ~190 users per minute active, checking their stats and doing ~340 uploads per minute. Mostly Battle Results, followed by Dossier files and Replays. Like I already stated nine months ago, I expect the numbers to grow!

    But vBAddict is more than that. Let me explain what vBAddict is offering for the WoT Community.

    • Data delivery for the WN7/WN8 Team for the calculation of the expected tank values
    • Wiki and Expected Tank Values for WN8 are hosted on vBAddict
    • vBAddict is working as backend for the BotDetect modification, with an average of 28 reports per minute
    • Providing Statistics via vBAddict API for Sites and Tools like WoTReplays.org, Tank-Compare.com, Tank Inspector ("LiveStats"), tanknumbers.com



    vBAddict needs the ability to process even more users, also with benefits for the current userbase. To keep all services fast and responsive, with the possibility to expand, I decided to switch to a new server platform.

    The new Server Environment would allow me to expand and also having some additional goodies.
    • Less downtime for uploads while speeding up the whole uploading process
    • Faster processing of your personal statistics
    • More disk space for a bigger Replay Archive
    • More statistics/possibilities available in the future
    • Improved reliability through RAID 5 and RAID 10, together with the possibility to do database backups on the fly with Percona XtraDB Cluster



    The Hardware for the new Environment would consist of two Servers, working would be split into two main tasks. One for crunching numbers, the other one for delivering content. Both Servers would act as a target for uploading via ADU. With this would be almost no downtime as the other server would be able to accept the data.

    The planned configuration is as follows:

    Cruncher
    • Intel Xeon E5-1650 v2 Hexa-Core
    • 64 GB RAM
    • 3x 240 GB SSD on RAID 5 for database
    • 1x 2 TB SATA for operating system


    Content Delivery
    • Intel Core i7-2600 Quad-Core
    • 16 GB RAM
    • 4x 4 TB SATA RAID 10 for images, replays, static content



    With that configuration, I would have to pay monthly 263 EUR. That is 131 EUR more than currently. The next step is important for me, as I would not be able to pay that amount out from my own pocket.

    Would you support me going this way?


    Read more:

  2. #2
    I would definitely pay a subscription. But ideally I'd want to preserve a little more battle history in return. Is it viable to have a less agressive purging for "premium users". That said I don't need to store thousands of replays as I have them myself and can reupload if I need to. It's the full battle results detail (the teams tab) that I'd like to be able to dig up.

  3. #3
    Veteran Flayologist.na's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    16
    Im concerned that youll lose some of your userbase moving to a subscription based service. After all you can get all these stats on other websites already for free, its just not instant delivery, which admittedly is the appeal of vbaddict. I would recommend adding ads to your website. your traffic should support enough money to at least pay for the servers at this point, while keeping the service free for end users, which will only serve to help increase your user base, thereby increasing traffic and advertising link income...

    just my two cents.....
    Flayologist
    Relic Armoured Officer


  4. #4
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127
    Never used the term "subscription". No plans to do so. I'm just asking if you keep donating the same way you did before, but this time for a higher amount.

    No plans on "premium" accounts so far.

    If you guys tell me the current server solution is enough for you, I'll stick with the current solution.

  5. #5
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127
    Quote Originally Posted by VeryRisky.eu View Post
    (...) It's the full battle results detail (the teams tab) that I'd like to be able to dig up.
    Exactly this kind of data needs to be removed as the current server cannot handle more. So if the new server will arrive, I will increase all limits.

  6. #6
    Hello Phalynx,

    i don't know why its so expensive over a year.
    I think its to expensive, and i wouldn't pay for it personally.
    Can't you buy the hardware?
    I would support this, because you deliver the best service around WoT statistics.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Silmas.eu View Post
    Can't you buy the hardware?
    The way I understand it, co-location (paying to keep your own hardware in a data centre) can seem cheaper, but when you factor in the increased cost of paying for every hardware upgrade outright, doesn't really save you much. It's fine for situations when your needs are fixed, but vBAddict has that exact problem - its needs are expanding constantly.

  8. #8
    If you don't mind... I'd like to share my thoughts after reading all above... Hopefully following ideas would count as "supporting" and "encouraging".
    Or at least rise some sort of "community" discussion about certain ways to support your ever-growing project in most substantial way - financially.

    Now, I'm neither economist nor marketing specialist but everything below comes from my RL experience with financing and promoting several niche projects (that would be "underground electronic music" in my case - but hey!). What I did in the past also started as a "hobby" and ended as fairly successful way to make my living out of it - reassuring me, that my "marketing" decisions were correct.
    But back to the point...

    There are some things which have to be said first, though - even if Phalynx ommited them in his own write-up:

    • vBAddict is undisputably most comprehensive and sophisticated service out there, full of features created for people who either want to measure their "skill" or simply prefer more mathematical and statistical approach to game they play;
    • even quick look through the site shows what huge amount of work it takes to keep high quality of service you provide - and it's all done by one person;
    • while you mention technicalities of data processing and storage - there is so much more to what makes vBAddict attractive: simple and hassle-free way to install ADU and associated mods, clear and user friendly site layout (including proper scaling for mobile devices), transparency and constant communication between provider of service and its userbase concerning eventual bugs and upcoming features;
    • scope of the service which can be roughly measured simply by looking at: amount of data stored, processed, displayed and re-used by countless "third party" tools out there via API - on daily basis.



    Why all those things needs to be mentioned? Because next we are inevitably going to talk about money.

    @ Phalynx: While I respect your decision to run this service off donations (and being extremely modest while asking people to donate) - I honestly doubt such system is going to cover 263EUR on regular, monthly basis. Hence, there is no point being too shy when trying to consider more... open ways of "monetization". You don't want popups and adverts? Fine - no one like these. Couple months ago myself and other users mentioned implementation of some informative gauge or bar - indicating what sum still needs to be donated to cover your monthly expenses. With almost doubled costs of planned server improvement - realistically speaking - I wouldn't dare to relay on people's charity...
    I might understand how "average" vBAddict user moan, groan and cringe when someone starts talking about "paid features". vBAddict is - after all - third party site for "free to play" game isn't it? Lets put it all in slightly wider
    perspective, then, shall we? Remembering about quality and complexity of service provided by vBAddict, there is Phalynx - guy who runs it as a hobby, voluntarly sacrificing hours to deliver what we have here.

    Even most dedicated passionate starts to lose his enthusiasm when, on top of invested energy and time, he also have to pay for what he do from his own pocket. For those having difficulty to calculate "value for money" factor: 263 EUR equals roughly ingame 80.215 Gold. Three years of Premium account. And that's monthly.

    Besides - "3rd party tools" with much lower content quality are being sold in Apple Store for over 3 EUR/piece (some vague WoT "guide" if I recall correctly).
    On the other hand - definitely useful and polished software - Tank Inspector - announces "Pro" version, with monthly subscription model - while at the same time using data from vBAddict...

    Hopefully these arguments convince not only some "average" vBAddict user, but also you, Phalynx, that question from the poll shouldn't be "should I upgrade the vBAddict server" (because there is only one answer - "yes") but rather: "how users can help me to cover costs of improved service"...
    Considering how unvaluable vBAddict is for 28245 WoT players using your service - there is no shame in asking for money to run it...

    In my humble opinion, it's worth trying to figure out which features should be considered "basic" and which could be safely moved to "premium" section of the site.

    Obvious candidate for creating paid "plans" (similar to model used by services like "Soundcloud" or "Dropbox") would be replay storage time. Even from my own experience - amount of crappy replays ADU is uploading daily... It would be safe to assume, that average vBAddict user needs about a week to review games he wants to keep or share with friends. Those who like to use your servers as their replay library could be easily presented with some micro-payment for "extended" time of unlimited storage space.

    Overhauling clan statistics and adding features to create integrated online clan management tool (with calendar, CW data, activity and skill progress monitoring of clan members). Same with posibility to draw strategies (with arrows, POI, symbols) or leaving timestamped comments on Battle Simulations or Heat Maps and then share it between Clan members or save them, or embed them on forums.
    Such features could be excellent selling point for "Premium Access" option - worth for many people few bucks/month.

    Basically - with all respect to creators of other sites out there - vBAddict, taking into account features already implemented and polishing few to cover more "social" aspect of WoT - have huge potential to be one stop site for all those slightly more "involved" in WoT. There is already news feed for all important WoT blogs. Replays. Statistics. If all those guys who ask for donations helping with costs of running camo calculators, tank compares, clan management just moved right here - I bet we, users, would gladly afford some minimal monthly fee to have access to it.

    Food for thoughts with help of some basic math and simple asumption: with only one-third of current 20k+ users finding selection of "Premium Access" attractive and worth tiny fee of 1EUR/month (yeah that's 1.3$ or 4.3PLN, cheaper than any ingame Gold batch option available) - it could cover a year of vBAddicts maintenance costs. ONE FULL YEAR.

    Go figure...

    P.S. Sorry for wall of text. I hope it was at least partially understandable and digestible.
    /discuss
    Last edited by Huzar79.eu; 2014-07-21 at 23:07.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Phalynx.eu View Post
    Exactly this kind of data needs to be removed as the current server cannot handle more. So if the new server will arrive, I will increase all limits.
    My point is that some of use would be willing to pay a monthly subscription for this, whereas the broader user-base are probably happy with what they have now. In part I'd be paying because I'm happy to contribute, but I think it's actually fairer, if you offer a lot more data retention to those that want to contribute rather than a bit more to all.

    Going over the numbers and you know how many have contributed in the past and think if you can get over a 100 users willing to pay EUR2.63 or 263 users willing to pay EUR1 per month. I think this is more sustainable than asking for larger donations from a smaller number and from your point of view, having a more predictable monthly funding is going to be better than not knowing if anyone will chose to donate.

    But I do agree that you don't want to have a site where it isn't attractive to use without a premium subscription. Think of it more as "Supporter" than "Premium".

    I'm not asking for anything more exclusive just a bit more data and extended search so I'm not asking for several EUR more service for the subscription, I sees it as a subscription to support the service with a few extended features as a small reward.

  10. #10
    Hi,
    first of all thank you very much for the great website/tools!
    My concern is, that if you ask around here, everybody will say "YEAH, MORE SERVERS!!" but at the end of the day YOU will get the bill.
    I personally would aim for a secure solution for myself at first and then check what can be done for the community. You obviously gave a lot of time and money to the community already!
    So i think, you need to come to an conclusion by checking what ppl are usually donating and if that can cover the extra cost.
    For some of the nice new ideas of founding proposed here it might be hard to guess at this point how much money they will rise.

    My favorite solution would be some well placed adds, that still allow users to use the page in a convenient way (no shift in content while loading the adds, no popups), if this is possible.
    I think you surely have the "right" to make some money with the page, rather than spending or to have to hope to get enough money each month.

    My personal paying preference would be more like 10€ from time to time or something rather than a monthly contribution. So please keep the paying flexible.

    Thx!

  11. #11
    There is a very easy solution for this; make a page on Patreon(keeping the donation option live) and put new servers as a milestone goal.
    Give Patrons some extra perks(while keeping the functionality for everyone) and see what happens.

    Edit. Also thank you for spending time on vBAddict.
    Last edited by Lorheem.eu; 2014-07-22 at 15:50.

  12. #12
    I would be willing to pay 2 euro a month if that helps to keep up the good service provided here!

  13. #13
    Supporter The_Ecstasy_of_Gold.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Posts
    29
    Don't like the idea of a mandatory subscription - not because I wouldn't pay for it (I actually would), but because I think too many others would shy away from it. A subscription might still generate enough money to pay the bills, but it would hurt the quality of the database. And I don't think anybody actually would be in favour of this.

    In short, I think there's two options:

    1. ante up: Use crowdfunding as Loorhem suggested. Try to raise a year's worth of server costs (or whatever the minmum terms are) and see if it works.

    2. some sort of voluntary (!) "premium" membership for a minimal monthly fee (€1 or 2...) where you keep all the exisiting features for non-paying users (and continue to develop these as well) but offer some sort of nice additional stuff for these "premium" members.

    (and 3. yes, keep the donation option alive! Some foolish people might be so happy after you have helped them with some small issue that they will honor your assistance with ridiculous amounts of money )

    I would pay €2 per month without even pondering - beginning at €5 per month I would probably start to count all my other "little" monthly subscriptions I have to pay out there...


    But to answer your question in the end: Yes, go with the new servers!

  14. #14
    Well I decided to start somewhere and sent EUR45 yesterday which is 2.5 EUR/month for 18 month s which is roughly how long I've used it.

  15. #15

  16. #16
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127
    By reading your posts I get the feeling I'm on track with the time I invested in this project. Donations from all of you is outstanding, which increases my motivation to keep up the further development in the same way I did it the last years.

    With that support you are giving me I decided I can risk to invest into the new server environment. Doing that, you should expect me to ask you for even more donations, as otherwise I would not be able to pay the server bill. I believe in the community.

    About subscriptions, monthly fees, premium accounts etc... I will spend more time for developing features for all users. Additionally, handling this kind of accounts would require a lot of coding for the background system to handle payments safe and correctly.

    To make the long story short... No Ads. No subscriptions. No premium accounts. No crowdfunding. The current site, all tools and applications will be kept free.
    Let's see how this will continue. If it does not succeed, I will have to think about the options which I refure at this moment.

    As soon as the new servers are in place, I will start to ask you for support.

  17. #17
    Donation made.
    If you need any help on your projects ask the gold noob.

  18. #18
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127
    Danke / Thanks.

  19. #19
    Supporter The_Ecstasy_of_Gold.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Posts
    29
    Well as long as u can pay everything off of the donations, do it. That's a no-brainer

  20. #20
    If it is possible to arrange automated monthly donation(hassle free) I think a lot of people would do it, which is why I suggested crowd funding.
    Anyway good luck and thank you for your time and effort.

  21. #21
    I think paypal allows you to set up a recurring donation.

  22. #22
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127
    Yes, there is such an option. Got already some monthly 1-2 eur donators that way.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Phalynx.eu View Post
    Yes, there is such an option. Got already some monthly 1-2 eur donators that way.
    I will set one up. If you have regular server costs then having regular income makes things more predictable.

  24. #24
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127
    Short update. Server has been ordered, currently busy with transferring terabytes of data.

  25. #25
    I made a post on my site to help remind folks of why vbaddict.net is great and to hopefully get more traffic and even better yet more donations.

  26. #26
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127
    Thanks for that!

  27. #27
    if it`s of any help I can provide a vps for storage/hosting purposes to store some data there, also I`m pretty sure that there are more like me that own this kind of infrastructure and you can split the archives to several locations making your storage less demanding in time I think

  28. #28
    Retired Commander Phalynx.eu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Erlangen, Germany
    Posts
    2,127
    Thanks for that offer, but it will not work that way. Don't underestimate the amount of data. No plans to distribute the content to multiple hosts.

  29. #29
    nah it was just an ideea, I was thinking that for storage purposes for non critical storage like an archive which doesn`t need to be processed very fast it would be good, but true implementation and logistics could be a hassle.

  30. #30
    2. small donation
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wotanalizer.JPG 
Views:	99 
Size:	50.3 KB 
ID:	141
    Good luck and will support you in future.
    Hope somebody else will do the same.
    Last edited by Mrmot.eu; 2014-08-04 at 18:48.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •