A feature that will improve your site performance 730%!!

Do you want KnownHost to be a Cloudflare Optimized Partner ?

  • Yes! , I think getting Railgun feature for free is very useful for me.

    Votes: 12 60.0%
  • No , I don't like Cloudflare.

    Votes: 5 25.0%
  • I'm not sure if Cloudflare Railgun can help my site or no.

    Votes: 3 15.0%

  • Total voters
    20

KH-Jonathan

Director of Managed Services
Staff member
Just an update:

While it's still early on, after a conference call with Cloudflare earlier today and confirmation of a few things, things look promising on the potential of making this available to customers.

Currently this forum is running through a Railgun setup as a means of testing and to allow me to gather some stats on the system. That being said, let me know if you encounter any bugs or oddities while navigating around the forum here. Just for the record, I haven't noticed a huge speed boost here before and after Railgun, but it's also important to note that our forum has been optimized to death to be speedy.

It will take some time to come up with an implementation plan as there will be some behind-the-scenes custom programming required on our part, but it doesn't look too impossible.

Just thought you guys would be happy to know that it's actively being worked on.
 

e3lanweb

New Member
Wow, that is great news. You guys are fast! thank you!..and yes this forum is already professionally optimized to death. I noticed this from day one.

Please let me know when this is available for Knownhost's dedicated servers. If you guys need to test Railgun on my Xeon 16 Gig dedicated server just let me know.
 

JayMat

New Member
That is remarkably considerate of you guys! I guess it is only one business+ account needs to be purchased and one listener per datacenter? Hmm.

I do have some questions in regards to this..

1) What if I am already a CloudFlare certified partner and offer CF via my clients cPanel via my VPS(or more)?
2) What if we are already hosting our sites via CloudFlare Pro and (+)
3) If we are reselling your VPS and offering shared hosting via your VPS ... will we have the ability to promote RailGun in our Marketing Material? Of course, we have to actively market CloudFlare AND we are already reselling your services.

I think that is about the extent of what I can think of at the moment. Just wondering if some sort of oddity could arise from this.

If 3 does present a problem.. would it be possible to list and/or start a KnownHost Partner Program. Somewhere we can have our "branch(es)" of KnownHost displayed on your site?

These are all important to me as I was going to go AWS.. although, I admire your network and figured I would start by simply reselling your services with my line of support (obviously). I am finishing aesthetics on my site and will be running a heavy marketing campaign starting the end of this week. Hopefully there would be some way to promote this as well... if it all plays out properly.
 

Mike54

Member
That being said, let me know if you encounter any bugs or oddities while navigating around the forum here.
Jonathon, I think we're all familiar with the issues CF has caused with the Chrome browser, but I noticed this evening, I had to clear my Firefox cache before I could log into the forums. I admit I am running Mozilla's Nightly builds, but I've been doing that for years and today is the first time I've ever had a caching/cookie problem here. It always seemed Rocketscript was causing most of those problems with Chrome, but there were problems, to be sure.

Just for the record, I haven't noticed a huge speed boost here before and after Railgun, but it's also important to note that our forum has been optimized to death to be speedy.
It's a bit like the conversation we were having about using Memcached. Without being able to see real-world data, I am pretty skeptical about adding anything. You'll doubtless recall how I was even reluctant about using LiteSpeed, aye? (LiteSpeed is still exceeding my expectations, BTW.) It really would be nice to see some numbers from this site, before and after Railgun.

It seems a lot of people who were running XenForo with CF have dropped back to using CF for DNS only.

Personally, I cannot imagine anyone being so interested in optimizing a XenForo forum... <saunters away, whistling innocently>

(EDIT - I had to try logging back in, twice, before I was able to submit this post.)
 

e3lanweb

New Member
Ok , I got lucky and I was able to test this forum before and after Cloudflare / Railgun. Because the DNS is not fully propagated now , I got two tests from gtmetrix.com. The first one without Cloudflare and the second one while going through Cloudflare DNS. Here are the test resutls..and it's amazing !!!

1- Test # 1 Without Cloudflare / Railgun ...

Test Report link : http://gtmetrix.com/reports/forums.knownhost.com/bj6Nxoup

ai.imgur.com_05VnoCR.png



Page Speed Grade : 73% C
YSlow Grade : 75% C
Page load time : 2.54 seconds.
Total page size : 783 kp
Total number of requests : 49


2- Test # 2 while on Cloudflare DNS / Railgun optimization...

Test Report link : http://gtmetrix.com/reports/forums.knownhost.com/QgI9hcsn

ai.imgur.com_PR8oAUz.png


Page Speed Grade : 82% B
YSlow Grade : 93% A
Page load time : 0.77 seconds.
Total page size : 135 kp
Total number of requests : 19


Cloudflare / Railgun is clearly a FANTASTIC service!


How to tell that the first test was without Cloudflare optimizations and the second test CF was on and running ??

Easy , just navigate to the report link above and click on the timeline tab then click View Larger Version on the top right. Now look for the cloudflare script.

ai.imgur.com_JXEz5wD.png


Also you can find the CF rocket script loaded.

ai.imgur.com_kaID5rL.png



When the Cloudflare's DNS is not fully propagated you will not find those scripts on the timeline as you can see on the first report over this link.

Regard the problems some folks are facing (I'm not facing any problems btw) you can disable rocket loader on the problematic scripts by adding this
<script data-cfasync="false" src="/javascript.js"></script>
to your scripts.


Or if you don't want to go through the headache you can simply turn the Rocket Loader feature off with a click of a button in your cf control panel. ( also I recommend you turning the mirage2 feature off )

Regards.
 

Mike54

Member
Rocketloader sucks, as it keeps ending my sessions. I experienced the problem with Mozilla Nightly 31.0a1 and am now seeing it with Chromium Version 33.0.1750.152.

Jonathon, flag me up when this is resolved, as needing to log in for every member action has pushed my fun meter OTT. ;)
 

KH-Jonathan

Director of Managed Services
Staff member
1) What if I am already a CloudFlare certified partner and offer CF via my clients cPanel via my VPS(or more)?
2) What if we are already hosting our sites via CloudFlare Pro and (+)
3) If we are reselling your VPS and offering shared hosting via your VPS ... will we have the ability to promote RailGun in our Marketing Material? Of course, we have to actively market CloudFlare AND we are already reselling your services.
1) I don't know if our CF will be able to "stack" on top of this or not. I wouldn't imagine so. To get the railgun benefits the domains would have to be setup through our API key and then likely managed directly through cloudflare.com. Honestly though, we won't know how this will work without trying it.
2) In my testing, this works fine and the forum's Cloudflare is actually setup in this way.
3) I think this will be heavily dependent upon point 1. Assuming the technicalities of it work and/or you choose to set things up through our system then there's nothing I'm aware of that would prevent you from advertising it.

@Mike54,

Just out of curiosity to see if it resolves the issue I've disabled RocketLoader for now. I've not experience this problem, however.

@e3lanweb,

That's certainly impressive results. I was not able to replicate such large differences in my testing, but I was using our office's internet connection and using the browser's reported speeds. That's certainly a significant change you're seeing there. It's very possible that I was testing prior to the Railgun cached data having synced out to all of the Cloudflare edge nodes.
 

e3lanweb

New Member
It's very possible that I was testing prior to the Railgun cached data having synced out to all of the Cloudflare edge nodes.
Yes , It's better to wait 2 / 3 days until all the forum data is cached before you can do any real tests. If a file / pic or whatever is being requested many times CF CDN servers will cache it automatically. Just give it some time to do it's thing.

Also , I recommend you to use gtmetrix.com and webpagetest.org ( you can even turn the video recording feature on while doing the tests).

According to my experience browser's tests on local PCs are not that reliable because there are so many factors involved.
 

JayMat

New Member
Hey, thanks a lot for the information Jonathan. From reading through their contracts a bit closer.. it does look as if we would have to separate our partnership and ride on yours (that's if and when we ever decide to go our own hardware route) to promote the use of Railgun to our customers. That's still quite pleasant that we will have it within our rights to promote it to our customers also.. after all, it is simply adding to your sales in the end.

Out of curiosity, are you guys going to also be implementing this (or allowing the implementation) via cPanel? It's quite handy that clients would have the use of signing up and running it via their own admin facilities... of course, furthering the service they would have to venture of to CloudFlare.. I guess I am still not quite sure how we take advantage of Railgun.. as in.. it's just available via our signed up accounts through your api... ooorrrrrr?
 

KH-Jonathan

Director of Managed Services
Staff member
@JayMat,

Do their contracts state this? I know technically-speaking you could keep your partnership with the customer's domain and we would allow the IP range they're hosted on to connect to our Railgun (I think) - though the contracts may state differently here, or at least when you advertise it.

The cPanel plugin isn't compatible with VPSs/Dedis because it's all tied to our API key - which isn't supposed to be shared or given out like that. Shared hosting customers for example can use the cPanel plugin, but VPSs/Dedis will work based on us whitelisting IP ranges and then they can activate Railgun directly on cloudflare.com or if we potentially make a control panel for Cloudflare using their API that ties into our billing system then that option will be available. At the beginning it will simply be us whitelisting IP addresses and you being able to activate it at cloudflare.com.
 

KH-Jonathan

Director of Managed Services
Staff member
On another note - I've got a Railgun setup in Texas for anyone with a VPS/Dedi there that would like to test this out (and give me more data to review internally). The higher traffic the site the better. If you're interested, PM me with your domain(s) that you want to activate it on and the respective IPs (on our network) that they resolve to and I'll allow it to connect to our Railgun. I'm going to limit this to the first 10 or so people that PM me.
 
Last edited:

JayMat

New Member
The cPanel plugin isn't compatible with VPSs/Dedis because it's all tied to our API key - which isn't supposed to be shared or given out like that. Shared hosting customers for example can use the cPanel plugin, but VPSs/Dedis will work based on us whitelisting IP ranges and then they can activate Railgun directly on cloudflare.com or if we potentially make a control panel for Cloudflare using their API that ties into our billing system then that option will be available. At the beginning it will simply be us whitelisting IP addresses and you being able to activate it at cloudflare.com.
That actually makes complete sense. That is exactly what I was looking to make sense of. It was something I was going to implement for shared users.. although, if it is all tying in to your API and for the sake of all legalities.. I may remove it from my cpanel and simply market things differently. It's still early in my process and I haven't begun my campaign.. so this is ok.. besides.. I still need to purchase another VPS from you. :p
 

KH-Jonathan

Director of Managed Services
Staff member
Just an update:

For the longest time, I was unable to recreate this "huge performance boost" or supposed bandwidth savings but I've finally come up with a scenario to do just that. Unfortunately, it only works in artificial testing and not in the real-world.

I'm still working with Railgun engineers and product developers to get it running as it should, though it seems like there's an underlying flaw in the way it works at this time.

It's worth noting that in testing when the scenario is perfect to make it work as intended, it does indeed deliver on what it promises.
 

JayMat

New Member
Thanks for the update Jonathan.

So, apparently what we have been experiencing is more placebo than actual. It would make sense as I didn't pay nearly as much attention to the standard optimizations that CloudFlare itself as a service provides.

I am curious if the flaw is something within the way Railgun itself works.. or if this is an issue with datacenter, listener or whatnot.

I wish we could all reproduce the magical scenario sauce in real-world situation.
 

KH-Jonathan

Director of Managed Services
Staff member
@Mike54,

Well as of right now everything is at a standstill while I await to hear back from them. I've found a few flaws in the core of Railgun and the way it works and ever since I've started questioning it they've been less and less responsive on getting things working like they should.

My testing basically shows that there's no point in deploying Railgun as there is 0 benefit from it unless they can get it working in a way that I've laid out to them. A lot of it seems to be hype I guess. When artificially setup in a test scenario I can see the benefits they advertise - and it's really astounding, but in the real world it just doesn't work that way because the cached content doesn't seem to be shared amongst the Cloudflare servers, so unless you have a massive userbase hitting you from a single geographical location (lets say a few hundred thousand hits per hour from NYC) then the benefit just isn't there.

Maybe they reply to my last email...maybe they don't. They assured me they'd have me some answers within 48 hours....and that was last Thursday morning.
 

JayMat

New Member
That makes complete sense. I could see also how most real world scenarios would cause more problems with the sites than they would ever want to advertise. The amount of compression with some of their services lead to sites becoming unusable.. and at a massive loss. Most notably, Magento sites take a massive hit while implementing ajax etc. Sure you could add false statements to particular scripts.. but then.. might as well just not use it.

Thanks for the update and this sounds typical of companies that spend massive floods of cache <-- ( not intended at all.. cash.. I meant cash xP ) on marketing their product than towards making it (real life) usable. They are still a great service... but as you say here.. perhaps just not for Railgun.
 
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