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Multi-Threading with C# and a Website

23. November 2011 00:40 by Scott in Development, C#  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (6)

Let me tell you my experience.

I have a website at http://www.utopiapimp.com that gets hit well over 1 Million times a day.  Thats 11 hits every Second.  Utopiapimp works on being a Live Stock Ticker for a online game called Utopia.  My users need live feeds 24/7 of whats happening in the game and thats what my application does for it.  Live feeds 24/7 for all users.  Its extremely dynamic as well.  Always changing, always updating.

My server that hosts my website is a VPS located with the company Ultima Hosts.  I have a middle tiered plan that costs a bit to host.  The advertising on Pimp pays for the hosting fees, but it doesn’t cover any more than that.  I have 4 GBs of Ram and 1 CPU.  I store so much in the caching system, that I take and use up at times almost all 4 GBs of Ram.  The problem mainly is the CPU.  At times the CPU hits 80% used and other times it coasts around 15% used.  So I was hoping to bring in some multi threading into Pimp to make the inserts into the DB much faster and a much faster response time for the users.

I started with just one thread, the new type of tasking in C# introduced in .Net 4.0.

Task.Factory.StartNew(() => DoSomeWork());

The Problem with this I think, is I only have one CPU.  When I implemented this method, I sadly and immediately saw a block.  The application started to hang.  I spent the next few weeks to try and stop the hang.  Yes, sadly, I introduced a bug so bad, I immediately started getting user connections loss.  I introduced a ton of code when I introduced this bug, so I was completely lost on the topic.  I thought well, it had to be something else.  Not until I wrapped the task around my error handling code to insert errors into the DB, did I realize what was going on. So I tried threading instead.

System.Threading.Thread newThread = new System.Threading.Thread(anObject.AMethod);

This didn’t work either.  I then realized, well maybe threads just don’t work on .Net Web apps.  I then thought, well maybe its just my 1 CPU.  Well, I haven’t yet upgraded to the second CPU, to test this out.

But believe me, when I get the chance, I will.