At COMC.com we have been working hard to strategically prepare for growth.
Better Storage System
We recently invented a new storage system to complement our inventory management system. This new system will allow us to easily grow from 80,000 to 1 Million+ cards in our current facilities. The storage system is fire retardant, theft deterring, earth quake resilient, and massively scalable. All this and we can still access any card in seconds.
We recently installed new servers that have more than 10 times the horse power of our previous server, and we are ready to scale with more servers as traffic increases.
Better Database Performance
We recently improved indexes used to perform searches so that all searches are fast, no matter how you choose to sort them. Nearly every search is now being completed in less than 0.20 seconds.
Better HTML Markup
We recently reduced the markup used on our search pages so that the views that have hover pop-ups (all views other than the details view) render in 1/10th the time they used to.
Better Page Response Time
We recently enabled gzip compression on our server so that the total bits transferred to the browser were reduced by 1/2. This makes the site feel a lot more responsive.
This is probably not very interesting to sports card collectors, but if you recently had a power failure or just got impatient with your Exchange server and did a hard reboot, you might find this useful.
Now that we have our new servers up and running, I needed to move our old server to be next to the new ones. The old server is just used as our mail server running Exchange Server 2003. Well, after giving it a good 10 minutes to shut down, it still hadn’t completely shut down, and I was getting impatient (it was 2:30 AM). So, I just pulled the power cable, and moved the server.
When the server finally came back up Exchange complained with this error in the event log.
Information Store (3812) First Storage Group: Database G:\Program Files\Exchsrver\MDBDATA\priv1.edb: Page 3031 (0x00000bd7) failed verification due to a flush-order dependency mismatch. This page should have flushed before page 7216 (0x00001c30), but the latter page has instead flushed first. Recovery/restore will fail with error -255. If this condition persists then please restore the database from a previous backup. This problem is likely due to faulty hardware “losing” one or more flushes on one or both of these pages sometime in the past. Please contact your hardware vendor for further assistance diagnosing the problem.
I have a default Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 install with the Exchange data files in “G:\Program Files\Exchsrver\MDBDATA\”.
To fix the issue I did the following:
Made a backup of the entire “G:\Program Files\Exchsrver\MDBDATA\” directory
This fixed the corruption, but when tried to restart the “Microsoft Exchange Information Store” service, I got this error in the event log.
Information Store (3600) First Storage Group: Database recovery failed with error -1216 because it encountered references to a database, ‘G:\Program Files\Exchsrver\MDBDATA\priv1.edb’, which is no longer present. The database was not brought to a Clean Shutdown state before it was removed (or possibly moved or renamed). The database engine will not permit recovery to complete for this instance until the missing database is re-instated. If the database is truly no longer available and no longer required, please contact PSS for further instructions regarding the steps required in order to allow recovery to proceed without this database.
This was very confusing because the file actually was present, but it turns out that you need to run a recovery to bring the database back to a clean state. So, I ran the recover command again.
Operation terminated with error -1216 (JET_errAttachedDatabaseMismatch, An outstanding database attachment has been detected at the start or end of recovery, but database is missing or does not match attachment info) after 130.0 seconds.
This was the result of having to run the repair command without doing a clean shutdown. To resolve that issue I had to run the same recover command with the /i switch to ignore the inconsistencies.
At the National Sports Collectors Convention we picked up some cards that are sure to be collector’s items.
Thanks to Upper Deck, we were able to obtain the following:
It’s the COMC.com team!
In case you’re wondering, John Neumann is my little brother who joined our team for the week. I flew from Seattle to Minneapolis where Johnny lives, picked him up, and together we made the drive to Cleveland! His help was invaluable. If he lived closer we would recruit him!
In fact, while at the convention, he was recruited for and quoted in a Beckett article!
“I just want to collect cards,” said John Neumann. “I don’t care what sport or who the player is. I just want to add relevant cards to my collection, even if the cards are of Barry Bonds.”
As a buyer/seller on our site, you’ll be seeing more of Johnny.
At 4:00 this afternoon we had 116,144 total hits. Our previous record was last Wednesday when we had 84,713. With 8 hours left in the day, we already have 37% more hits than our previous record. We have a shot at doubling our single day record! Good thing we just upgraded our servers, and we can now easily handle the traffic.
These numbers includes images and other resources, not just page views. Apparently some popular blogs have started linking to our images. Fortunately we recently started adding watermarks. Image courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com
If you want to link to images on COMC.com, you are welcome to do that! We encourage you to use one of the larger images that include a watermark, and we ask that you give us attribution with a link back to our website, such as the example above.
However, the real milestone is that google has started ranking pages on our site as more relavant than similar matches on eBay, craigslist, and Beckett.com. I think that is pretty good company!
If you take the description of the eBay auction mentioned above, “Cal Ripken – Fleer 1988 Card #570”, and search google for it, you will find that the #1 & #2 hits are now our site. #3 & #4 are eBay, #6 is craigslist, and #9 is Beckett.
This auction happens to be starting at $2.00 for a card you can buy from our site for $0.50.
We finished migrating everything to the new servers, but we aren’t done performing some additional database optimizations. Therefore, the site performance hasn’t yet reached its full potential, but it is better than it used to be.
Enjoy the pics of our new servers. Hopefully my software designing skills are better than my picture taking ones.
A few days ago I changed the theme of the main website to match our branding, and now I have altered the blog to follow suit. I used the infamous WordPress theme ‘Contempt’ (thanks Vault9!) as a bedrock and modified the style to my liking.
The new blog layout has yet to run the gamut of different browser versions, so if you see any oddities, I would really appreciate it if you would let me know.
As you can probably tell, last night I launched a semi-redesign to match our branding. Only minimal structural/layout changes were made to some of the pages, so you should still have the same experience you are accustomed to – only now with awesome colors!
If you see some oddities that you would like me to have a look at, shoot an email. Please mention your browser name and version.