Many users have reported issues relating to slow response times and 503 error messages on the site in the past two weeks. As far as we can tell, there are no problems with the E2 servers themselves. Instead there seems to be a significant rise in traffic to the site. The e2coders usergroup is currently investigating to determine what the cause may be. It may be that we are being crawled by some sort of bot or something.
In the meantime, OldMiner has been making some adjustments to the code to make pageloads faster. Personally, I have noticed an improvement since OM began tinkering, and maybe you have as well. One way to make your pageloads even faster would be to reduce nodelets to a minimum in your Nodelet Settings.
We all agree that the hang time, 504s, and timeouts suck, but please rest assured that we are doing whatever we can on our end. Hopefully this is a temporary situation which will soon pass.
More news from the same department and it's not the good kind: On the 22nd we lost a vital server to what appears to be catastrophic hardware failure (symptoms suggest a fried mainboard or CPU). The best we (the on-site guys at MSU, that is) could do before everything shut down for the long holiday was scrounge a loaner to replace it and have OM and me spend parts of the afternoon and evening mucking with the setup. Because it's a holiday and fewer hands are available we chose a conservative setup that will probably result in many more server errors but will avoid more serious events that could leave us dead in the water while no one is around to kickstart things. Come Monday the 28th we'll see what we can do about acquiring replacement hardware.