Downloads are pretty important.
At the risk of stating the obvious: downloads are pretty important to JKHub. Every day, over 300 individual people download about 25 GB worth of mods from us. In total, that's between 700 and 800 GB worth of downloads monthly. Many people visit JKHub purely for the file downloads.
When JKHub was first created, we used Dropbox. Hosting mod downloads on a Dropbox mirror was the sanest and most easily scalable option at the time. Dropbox worked really well, but now, a good 5 years later, there are better options available.
Introducing the new CDN
So you know my hosting business I never shut up about, right? One of the things I've started offering is a basic CDN-like service. In short: a service that lets you download files from one server in a distributed network. You download files from a server near your home, instead of a server that could be on another continent.
Moving JKHub downloads to that infrastructure has been one of my main projects over the past month. A few days ago, I finished it. We're no longer using Dropbox now.
So how are downloads better now?
Here are the advantages of the new downloads infrastructure:
- Faster downloads. This is the most important part: downloads should be a lot faster than they were before.
- More reliable downloads. You know how Dropbox would occasionally break a file (or worse: all files), and spit out some error instead of serving your download? That's won't happen anymore.
- Improved insight. Those statistics I mentioned at the top of this post? 300 individual people downloading 25 GB of mods daily? We didn't have any way to know things like that before. Now, we do. Knowing things like that lets us share cool statistics over time, and makes it easier to make educated decisions about JKHub's infrastructure. It also lets us track abuse and stop people trying to artificially inflate their mod's download counts much more effectively.
Not all downloads are accelerated yet.
Right now, about 1 in 3 downloads are served by the new infrastructure and fully accelerated. That percentage will increase a lot over time, but it's an automated process that takes a while to happen. By the end of this month, almost every single download should be served by it. Here's a fun graph:
Finally, a sneak peek
So that's been one of the main things I've been working on over the past month. With it out of the way, here are some other things I'm planning to focus my attention to in the coming month or two:
- Moving JKHub itself to a new web server for faster page loads, improved security, and more. This won't get its own news post, but it's important anyway.
- Changing the way news articles work, in a bid to have much more JKA and community related news & articles.
- Website design changes & modernization: taking the first small steps towards next year's JKHub 2.0 project.
For now though: enjoy faster and more reliable downloads.