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Re: [K12OSN] I need to make Flash work faster....wanna pitch

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 generic.

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 animation.

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.

William Fragakis
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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