BBQ and poor web site performance

For those who don’t know, I participate in BBQ competitions in throughout the year with my father and brother (link to our team site:

Last night, registration for the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour events started. There just so happens to be one here in Madison July 14th through the 15th.

I figured I’d get to the site a few minutes early to beat the rush. At 6:55 PM – on the dot – I plugged into my browser and I was met with this:


Surely they had to have a contingency plan for this sort of traffic. Several of last year’s event sold out in 20 minutes.

I was able to get registered for the event but it took close to 20 minutes, 2 computers, and my iPhone. Others weren’t so lucky. Furthermore, KCBS’ site performance was so bad that it also took down BBQ Brethren (a popular message board for BBQ enthusiasts) for several minutes with people trying to post about their inability to get registered for the Sam’s Club events. There’s no excuse for site performance like this, especially when hosting plans and Amazon’s EC2 offerings are so cheap.

Thinking about all of this lead me to ask the question: How would you have handled this if you were the administrator for KCBS’ site? Bigger hosting plan? Amazon EC2? Rackspace? Office 365?

Troubleshooting SharePoint Timer Service Issues

From time to time I’ll come into work and notice that the Timer Service will be stopping unexpectedly. Every minute or so the timer service will stop and the server will start it again within another minute or two. It’s quite annoying and I’ve spent many a wasted morning tangling with it.  This post will be continually updated as I wrestle with the beast. Here are the steps I have so far. Start at #1 and work your way down until the problem fixes itself. Try to give about 5-10 minutes between each step:

  1. If you notice in the service console that the timer service is currently running hit “Restart the service”
  2. Do a full stop then start of the Timer Service
  3. Clear timer cache on farm (link)
  4. Update spfarmacc credentials
    • stsadm -o updatefarmcredentials -userlogin domain[timer service account] -password <>
  5. Check to make sure the ForeFront Identity Manager is running on your Sync server

Will continue to update with steps as I learn more.