Andy McKay

May 07, 2010

Arecibo server being released as open source

For a while we've been running Arecibo as a free service for logging errors. As it turns out the amount of free conversions to paid ones isn't enough to keep the free service going.

We've got Arecibo past a few bottlenecks, one well known client sent a huge amount of errors in one weekend that completely melted the server. Its humming along now processing over a million errors a month, but still maintenance needs to be done, bandwidth needs to be paid and so on. We want to keep moving Arecibo forward and for the last few months, instead of moving it forward, we spend too much time on maintenance.

So we are pushing the server out to be open source, it might not have all the features of the site - I've taken a cleaver to the code to sanitise a few bits and pare it down. That's now on github and you can pull that down and push it up to App Engine and have your own error logger. You will have to change the URLs of your clients to point to your new App Engine instance. It will be free unless you send a lot of traffic to it, I would be surprised if our average Arecibo user had to pay anything at all.

Why App Engine? Well there's nothing out there that can cope with the spikes that your sites might create. We think its the best scaling and most reliable server out there.

Over the next few weeks we'll push a few more bits into the client (notifications, RSS etc) and then shut down the free Arecibo hosting. Then we can get on with innovating, something that we haven't done for a while on this project.