Distribution server CQ WW CW testing report

We are glad to report score distribution server testing was successful during the CQ WW CW contest. Just some stats from the last weekend:

1. Distribution server (www.b41h.net)

  • During the 48 hours of the CQWW CW Contest, the score distributor forwarded 72,385 score posts to the scoreboards.
  • That’s an average of one post every 1.2 seconds.
  • The peak rate was 4 in one second.
  • 35 users configured their logger to use the distribution server URL ( http://www.b41h.net/scoredistributor.php )
  • Postings from 90 Contest Online Score users  ( contestonlinescore.com) were forwarded to the distribution server and then were forwarded to the cqcontest.net.

2. cqcontest.net

  • had over 500 active entries on the CQ WW CW board!

3. Contest Online Score Board (contestonlinescore.com )

  • had 125 CQ WW CW entries from active users

We continue using the distribution server as the central piece of a real score cluster. It is running 24/7 serving all the possible contests. This is the best way to send your score and ensures your score will be published on all the available online score boards.

What should you do? It’s easy!

1.  Register an account on both servers:

2. Configure your logger with the following real score server URL:

http://www.b41h.net/scoredistributor.php

**** for Win-Test users we have prepared a special program:

About server performance

What about our server performance metrics? Would it be enough in case of board users increasing after finalizing real score cluster? We’ve prepared few CPU usage report graphs:

As you see 100 user sessions loaded CPU by the only 5%. We constantly working on script and DB optimization.  That’s why CQ WW CW contest 100 users sessions got CPU load 1.5 times less than ARRL SS CW with just 60 user sessions.

Anyway there is a lot of room for improvement! Take a look at the hourly CPU load graph. There are some CPU load spikes produced by a script running in a beginning of every hour calculating the “Highest rate” for a contest. It does a search over 100K log entries withing few seconds:

So are we ready for the cluster? The answer is “Yes”.  The biggest number of online score board users I’ve ever seen  was 600 during the last CQ WW CW on the cqcontest.net.  If we do some  calculations we could figure out the COSB CPU load would be around 30-35% with 600 online usersAnyway there is a lot of room for improvement! The current server is a modest VPS. So RAM and vCPUs could be easily upgraded. Moreover we designed our server side scripts such a way to be ready to split incoming traffic to a front servers cluster.  More to come …

Real Score Cluster full functional test

The next great step in the The Real Score Cluster implementation just happened. We did the first full functional cluster test during the last ARRL DX CW contest. All the 100% score postings from over 300 contesters were shared between two scoreboard servers cqcontest.net and COSB for the first time!  We didn’t notice any significant gaps during that testing.

Thanks for all  the Real Score Cluster guys who did a lot to make this event a big success:

  • Dmitry, R4WW the CQcontest.net owner
  • Bruce, WA7BNM the distributor server creator

How that works:

=> All the incoming traffic to the Distribution server (or Score distributor) is forwarding to COSB and CQcontest

=> All the incoming traffic to the COSB is forwarding to the Distribution server and after- to the CQcontest .

=> All the incoming traffic to the CQcontest is forwarding to the Distribution server and after – to the COSB 

We still have a lot of things to be done to finish the Real Score Cluster infrastructure basement.  Unfortunately during this period might be not all postings to be shared or they could be shared partially.

You could be a part of the project! The best you can do to help us would be configuring your logger to send your scores to the Distribution server ( http://www.b41h.net/scoredistributor.php ).

Please read https://contestonlinescore.com/blog/documents/ how to set up your logger to be ready for the Real Score cluster the most efficient way.

 

Sharing contest real time scores between servers (Update of Nov 23)

The score sharing implementation is going well. Yesterday we have configured Contest Online Score board server to forward to the Score Distribution server all the internal postings coming from COSB users directly . The Score Distribution server forwards them to cqcontest.net if a particular contest is supported by cqcontest.net. That means all the score spots published on the https://contestonlinescore.com/scoreboard/ will be automatically published on the cqcontest.net as well. To finish this phase we just need cqcontest.net to do the same. Once that will be done we get a real score cluster everybody is waiting for so much )) That would be no difference which server link is in a logger real score server configuration. Wherever score will be sent they will appear on all board servers in a cluster (if a particular contest is supported by a particular score board).

But we still have some tasks to be done after that. We need to come up with a common solution about user authentication, server replay message unification and some others. We’ll keep you posted.

For the coming this weekend CQ WW CW we still asking you to configure your logger to send your CQ WW real scores to the following URL:

http://www.b41h.net/scoredistributor.php

By using this link your score will be published on both score board servers.

New Continent filter

We have extended our board filter by new filtering criteria:

It’s easy to use. Just check up continents from which you wish to have scores to be published on a board. Click on the “Save” button.

By default no continent filter is applied.

Sharing contest real time scores between servers (Update of Nov 20)

The first test of the new real-time scoring technology “online score distribution server” went well! We had 11 volunteers from USA, Canada, Italy, Russia and Scotland over last weekend. All the volunteers’ scores were successfully forwarded to COSB and cqcontest.net. But I hope that was just a first try. Thanks a lot to these brave guys! ))

Sure we had some issues. The first one was with WriteLog postings (fixed quickly by Bruce, WA7BNM) and another one with cqcontest.net  (fixed later by Dmitry, R4WW). But, few problems for the first test. ))

We need more volunteers for CQ WW CW testing!

It’s easy:

1.  Register an account on both servers (http://cqcontest.net and
https://contestonlinescore.com )

2. Configure your logger with the following real score server URL:
http://www.b41h.net/scoredistributor.php

3. Participate at least few hours in the CQ WW CW

You can always use this configuration since you can participate in any other contest and the distribution server will automatically forward your scores to all the servers that support that contest, without any further changes to your logger settings – kind of real score cluster. That’s actually the target of all of our activities.

On our side we have already started updating our “Logger settings” document to encourage all the HAM’s to use a distribution server URL as a primary one.

Good luck in CQ WW CW! And don’t forget to provide your feedback! We very much appreciate for your help.

Sharing contest real time scores between servers

I’m glad to make a first announcement about some promising progress in sharing real score data between servers.

Few months ago we’ve started communication with Dmitry, R4WW the owner of the well known real score server cqcontest.net. We have agreed to cooperate on sharing score data. On the same time we received a beautiful initiative form Bruce, WA7BNM who came up with a brilliant idea of a score distribution server. The score distributor is meant as an easy way to post live scores to all active scoreboards:

1. The distribution server posts scores it receives to all scoreboards

2. It only posts scores to a scoreboard for a contest if that contest is supported by that scoreboard

3. It doesn’t post scores to a scoreboard, from which it received a score POST

That sounds like a beginning of real time score cluster. That wouldn’t be important which URL has been configured in a user loger since all the posts finally be delivered to ALL active score board servers supporting current contest.

Bruce just made my day by sending today a message saying a test version of the distribution server is ready to go! Now we are ready to test options 1-2 (score postings could be sent to a distribution server and after to be distributed between cqcontest.net and contestonlinescore.com servers).

We need volunteers who are ready to do the following:

1. to register accounts on both servers (https://cqcontest.net and http://contestonlinescore.com )

2. configure your logger with the following real score server URL:

http://www.b41h.net/scoredistributor.php 

(username a password could be empty since we don’t use authentication during the first QA phase).

3. participate at least few hours  in the coming contests: ARRL SS SSB and CQ WW CW

4. Share with us your experience about how things go with posting to both servers. Please pay attention to score posting timing. Are any delays with your score publishing on both servers? Is your logger posting status clear?  Your feedback about anything else related to postings would be very appreciated.

Rate monitor “funny” numbers issue

We’ve noticed some weird numbers the rate monitor was showing up during the last ARRL SS CW contest :

Highest rate : 862 q/h by N9TK. How could that be?! Our explanation is the following:

“The best rate monitor” script runs hourly to calculate every one’s hourly rate consistently.  It sorts out all the best rates and find out the biggest value to put on the board header.

Everything is correct If a person has connected to the server before having a fist QSO in a log. But when a person gets connected to the server few hours after a contest start having already few hundreds qso’s in a log fools the script.

Take a look at the N9TK QSO’s rate graph:

 

N9TK has connected to the server on 24th hour after ARRL SS CW has started and his first post had over 800 qso’s. Our script calculates an instant rate by subtracting the last hour QSO’s number from the previous one. Since we have nothing for the previous hour we consider that as 0 QSO’s. So we’ve got 862 QSO’s have been made from 23th to 24th hour. Voila! ))

Sure we’ll find out a way to check up the posting history to prevent such “funny” numbers in a future. I just hope that wouldn’t make this script stress out the server too high since it usually calculates a rate from few dozens thousand numbers.

The contest highest rate monitor

We have implemented a new feature – the highest QSOs per hour rate monitoring. This feature is activated for all contests longer 1 hour. Every hour we calculate everyone’s 60 minutes rate from top of the previous hour , find out the best and put on the top right side on the board page header.

By clicking on the “Highest rate” monitor module you will get a new page “The contest best rates list” where will be all the current contest board participants list sorted by a personal best hour rate. It refreshes automatically every hour to reflect latest rates updates.

We don’t know if that does make sense to implement the contest highest rate monitor for mini contests by using 10 minutes rate. If you have some opinion please place as comment to this post. Thanks ))