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37. Re: THQ in Defaults on Credit Line Nov 13, 2012, 16:52 Dev
Prez wrote on Nov 13, 2012, 05:23:
And failing to keep enough interest in running the servers properly to avoid the storefront having problems in a big sale

Steam's up-time during sales certainly sucks, but I try to cut them a little slack. Last I heard Steam had a user base of around 30 million people. When I imagine how many of those are clicking 'refresh' on their browser during the Steam Xmas Sales week at 12:00 pm (U.S. Central time for me) it becomes a little easier to understand why I can't even load the store page more than once every 10 tries or so.
Yeah... I cut them slack years ago. When it keeps happening EVERY SINGLE big sale and release, no. They have all sorts of data on trends and how much percent they grow on each sale. They could easily project, double the projection, and prepare and have extra capacity for those special events. It wouldn't cost them that much to rent out some extra servers. The additional sales they'd make for the additional uptime would probably more than make up for it.

The worst part is, you can check content server stats during any of these problems and they are NEVER 100% for a region. Which means its all in the load balancing, they have plenty of actual bandwidth, just nothing that actually handles it. If you have twice (or in their case more) the capacity sitting idle and its not getting used but your storefront is crapping out, there's something wrong. You are wasting money on capacity if you can't ever actually USE it. And if you are already paying so much for all that extra capacity, its not that much to get extra load balancing to actually USE it.

Its not money thats a problem for valve obviously, so what is it? Its not that they don't have the data or don't expect massive sales to happen, its not a surprise to them, so what is it?
The remaining explanations include things like lack of knowledge/expertise, lack of manpower, and --somewhat unique to valve--lack of employee interest in fixing the problem. Since they have no money problems, lack of manpower could easily be remedied. And if they can't find enough people that pass their hiring process which is what gabe has said previously, then they need to contract it out. That would solve those other potential issues too, including lack of employee interest and lack of expertise/knowledge about how to fix.
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