Site Wonkiness

Too big, too fail.

If you tried to visit yesterday, you may have experienced latency or an inability to access the site or post comments. I spent much of the day back and forth with the server company, which was unable to resolve the issue. Finally, I reached out to my developer and he diagnosed the problem: the database was full. He’s cleared out some unnecessary files and disabled automatic backups as a temporary solution.

OTB will hit its 20th anniversary in January. We have 56,092 posts and 1,373,943 comments. Just the nightly backup takes over 30 gigabytes of storage! We’ve long since hosted our images and whatnot on a separate server but we’ll either need to break out the database to its own server or get yet a bigger virtual machine.

I’m headed to the beach with the family for the week but the developer is working with the hosting company to figure out which solution makes more sense.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MarkedMan says:

    As always, James, many thanks for hosting this ad free site. I know that since you dropped ads (much appreciated!) you cover all the expenses out of your own pocket.

    For anyone interested in helping to defray those costs, there is a “Become a Patron” button on the upper right corner of the site, just below the menu. You can use it to make a one time or ongoing donation. I make a small monthly donation and consider it one of my more worthwhile “subscriptions”.

  2. Kathy says:

    I thought the troll had broken the blog.

  3. CSK says:

    If that were possible, previous trolls would have smashed it to smithereens.

  4. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Thank you for letting us into your home here, James. And the clear, concise explanation. I’ll bet you never expected this when you started, did you?

  5. EddieInCA says:

    OTB is the only site I make certain to visit every single day, no matter where I am. I’m glad to kick in what I do every month. It feels like a “Cheers” bar to me. I learn something here often.

    Those of you who haven’t become a patron should think about doing so. I ran a blog for about 20 minutes back in 2003 and the amount of money and work it takes for even a simple blog with no comments was surprising. Kudos to Dr. Joyner for keeping up this place where we can all shoot the shite. I’ve already met Michael Reynolds and WR, and looking forward to meeting Kurtz in Florida later this year. So it’s become more than just a blog to me, and for that I’m thankful.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Thanx James. I did try to comment yesterday afternoon, and now I know why I couldn’t.

    @EddieInCA: I contribute too. Not as much as I’d like but some every month.

  7. EddieInCA says:


    That’s awesome. It doesn’t take much if enough people do it.

    I’m certain Dr. Joyner spends probably 5 figures a year keeping this site up for us. To me, it’s worth more than several of the streaming services I pay for, so I use that as my measure stick.

    I try to teach the kids around me the idea of scale. Yeah, their single five dollars donation might not matter, but if they can get 500 people to donate $5….. per month… now we’re talking $30K in one year. I’d love for Dr. Joyner to be able to not just pay for the site, but be paid a bit for the time away from his wife and daughters while he makes certain we all have a place to spout our nonsense.

  8. grumpy realist says:

    I’m right now out of pocket due to a dead HVOC system that needs to get replaced but once I get that out of the way will make a donation.

  9. Robert in SF says:

    Thanks for the reminder about the lack of ads and the patronage option!
    I am now a Patron, for a low monthly donation!