giganews blog

Corporate culture, personal experiences, and unique observations about Giganews, Usenet, Newsgroups, and Usenet related technologies.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

1 Billion Usenet Articles

As we were writing our recent announcement regarding our upgrade to 120 days retention, I was surprised to discover that our news servers were offering nearly 1 billion newsgroup articles in over 100,000 newsgroups.

This is a significant achievement for Usenet, which was originally designed to handle only a few dozen articles per day.

In Usenet's beginning there was a steady march of Usenet server software development centered on the evolving challenges of a growing community. These evolutions of server software were primarily spearheaded by graduate students working in their spare time to solve problems with matters such as naming conventions, performance, and portability.

Since the early days of Usenet, a lot of things have changed. Internet access in the developed world is commonplace, personal computers are widespread and readily available, and Usenet has grown to over 100,000 newsgroups.

Now that Usenet is a global network with countless participants, the landscape has changed. No longer will the collaborative efforts of graduate students working in their spare time solve the challenges of operating a Usenet network processing nearly a billion newsgroup articles. These challenges require significant investment, time, and experience.

Luckily for Giganews, we have a loyal customer base which allows us to focus our efforts on reinvesting in our network and technology. This investment has been used to develop a scalable, patent-pending news server software platform designed around plug and play storage upgrades.

It is this technology that allows Giganews to perform massive retention upgrades with no service interruptions. Seamless upgrades are one of the more understated things that we do at Giganews, and are something our company and our customers tend to take for granted.

Service improvements like our 120 day retention upgrade represent huge engineering challenges, but thanks to tremendous efforts by our programmers and engineers, Giganews is able to deliver these advancements with little to no impact on our service.

Now that Giganews has taken Usenet to the next level and is making Usenet more accessible than ever before, I wanted to take a second to thank our engineering staff for developing systems and technologies which allow Giganews to improve service for our customers with virtually no downtime. If you enjoy Giganews' service, post a comment on this blog post and let our engineers know how much you appreciate them!

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