A few notes on Power Line 3.0

It’s a long way from the original. With an eye toward making PL reliable, speedy, and highly available during burst traffic, we have redesigned and reengineered the site from top to bottom. The new look is the most visible change, but you will also notice that pages load more rapidly than before, and that the site looks consistent from browser to browser.

Archives are now more readily available; we’ve implemented a nightly email digest (subscribe here); you can now easily share posts on your preferred social bookmarking website, and we’ve improved the print functionality. Dozens more improvements have been made to the “back-end” — the portion of the site we use to write posts, shuffle advertisements, and so forth — but we needn’t trouble you with those.

We’ve also added a BlackBerry edition and an iPhone edition.

Thanks are due to Jonathan Sharp for his superior design and coding sensibilities; Mike Precious for his aesthetic input; and the people at SoftLayer for their considerable network skills.

For those with an avocational interest in Internet architecture, here are a few of the finer points.

— Power Line is hosted in a large Dallas datacenter connected to the Internet through six 10G pipes from five independent carriers. Your computer will automatically take the most efficient route to Power Line.

— Our edge routers are Cisco, and the server is protected against attacks by Cisco Guard and Tipping Point.

— Power Line’s DNS servers are Anycast, and are distributed throughout the country to protect against failure at any one point.

— The server is remotely monitored and has a number of self-remedies programmed so that, in the event that PL becomes inaccessible, the server will attempt to bring itself back online automatically.

— The site is run on RedHat Linux; static content is served by Lighttpd; other content is served by a customized edition of Apache.

— The core server has two quad-core Intel Xeon Harpertown processors, for eight total processing cores; the box has 8 GB of RAM. Site files are on IDE; databases are on SCSI. Virtually everything that is publicly viewable is served from RAM.

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