[K12OSN] I need to make Flash work faster....wanna pitch
william at fragakis.com
Mon Dec 5 13:09:40 UTC 2005
Flash is a more critical technological issue than many people outside of
education realize -
Things we've found:
1) Flash creates a huge datastream. I presume you have a gigabit
connection between your server and switch. Each client can easily suck
up 10-15 mb per second. Beyond 5-6 clients on a normal Flash page would
saturate a 10/100 network and add a few instances of Tuxtype being used
by other students and you couldn't get past 4-5.
2) It's important that your clients use a specific video driver, not a
3) Sometimes you get a Flash animation done in "high quality" mode.
Those will kill a server as they require 2-3x the cpu as a normal
4) Block all the flash ads that you can. A lot of "kids" educational
sites are also full of Flash adverts that compound the problem.
We run Flash-based testing programs (ie Accelerated Reader) and
educational web sites without much problem now, especially after
implementing points 1 and 2. If the Disney site is using high rez
animations, there isn't much you can do. A couple of bad adverts were
killing our dual core P4 as well. I'm not sure that a 64bit Opteron is
going to give you much of an advantage on running Flash over a regular
desktop processor anyway - I could be dead wrong on this.
Now, if I could figure out how to run Shockwave...
If you haven't, run "top" in the terminal and try to find which
specific client (and therefore animation) is causing problems in terms
of cpu load or if it is really a network issue, in which case you'll
still have CPU headroom but the animations will lag. In our experience
with Flash, it wasn't CPU utilization that brought the CPU to it's
knees but a saturated network.
If you wish, let us know which animations they were running and others
can see how it behaves on their networks, too.
> We're also having major flash problems. 4 kids running disney.com
> games brought our dual opteron server to its knees today. I couldn't
> even log in on the console. I had to ssh in just to 'init 6'. Each
> of their firefox-bin processes was trying to suck up 70% cpu. Is that
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