Monthly Archives: April 2011

IIS Compression

Do you want to both save money and speed the load time of your web pages? Then check out IIS’s built-in compression feature.

You can access it from the IIS management console:

Then make sure both of these boxes are checked.

There are some very rare situations where the compression conflicts with an application – but they are VERY rare and it is so fast and easy to turn off if needed, that I encourage everyone to try out the setting and leave it enabled unless you specifically fine an issue.

BTW – in the example above I used Microsoft’s IIS Manager for Remote Administration which is support at both OrcsWeb’s managed hosting plans and Cytanium’s discount shared hosting plans.

Happy hosting!

Spring Break

It’s Spring Break and I’m not really feeling the “sit down and write a post while the family is in the warm sunshine” – so I won’t. I’m taking a week off from blogging (except this post) and will be back next week. Everyone enjoy your week!

Affordable Load Testing For Your Web Site

I stumbled across a cool SaaS load-testing site: http://loadimpact.com/

They have a free option to drop a fairly small load on your web site and then report back metrics. They also have affordable paid versions with higher numbers of concurrent testing clients.

Here is a sample results summary when I ran a test yesterday against my Orchard test site running on the new beta Cytanium cloud hosting:

I’m a strong believer in dropping some test load onto *every* application before making it live. Certain applications can respond and perform very differently on a test server with two users than ten, or twenty, or fifty. Whatever load you expect, test at that level and don’t be surprised about it later.

New Elastic Cloud Services on IIS

There are some very cool and exciting things happening with Microsoft’s web stack, one of which is the new elastic cloud services for IIS. These new services leverage WFF and ARR, which are two awesome (fairly) new IIS technologies.

Read more about it here:
http://blogs.iis.net/bradleyb/archive/2011/04/12/new-elastic-cloud-services-on-iis.aspx

Sign up for a free preview to try it out here:
http://www.cytanium.com/Mix/

 

SQL CE DLLs Issue While Updating Orchard CMS

I don’t think this has anything to do with Orchard itself, but as I was trying to update Orchard CMS to the latest version (1.1.30) earlier I tried to delete all the files except for my app_data folder. The intention that I could drop in the new files (as recommended by posts I found online) but retain the data and settings that I have stored in SQL CE.

Well, I never got to actually test out that process because the server had the SQL CE DLLs locked that reside in the \bin\ folder. I was determined to make it work without actually logging on to the server so through the control panel I tried a few things to release the DLLs – tricks that have worked for me with other DLLs in the past: I changed framework versions… no luck. I changed app pools… no luck. I stopped the site… no luck. I renamed the files… still locked. I even renamed the folder… still, the files were locked.

So, what happened? Well, I wound up installing version 1.1.30 in a subfolder of my test site rather than the root, which also meant that it didn’t “upgrade” but gave me a fresh site. I can work around this by coping around files from one folder to another, but hey, I really don’t think I should have to. I don’t think my clients should have to.

SQL CE DLL pain-points aside… I REALLY dig the new version of Orchard CMS. It’s sweet! :)