Binsearch.info recently announced they are expanding the capabilities of their Usenet search engine to support 600 days of retention. Earlier today Binsearch posted an update that they are at 565+ days of retention in every active newsgroup which matches Giganews binary retention.
That’s great right? It depends. Its great that Binsearch has dedicated the resources necessary to test an increase but the higher capacity drives mean slower search results. If you regularly look for posts 500+ days old then the upgrade is great news. However the higher retention means a hit to performance and possibly reliability.
According to Binsearch:
As an experiment, we will increase the retention and let you search for even older posts, in the coming days. However this comes with a price. To have enough storage space available, we will be using higher capacity -but slower- storage.
This means your searches will get slower, and there is a risk they will time-out during rush hour.
Binssearch is currently offering a poll for users to vote on which they would prefer:
300 days of retention with fast search speed
600 days of retention with slow search speed
We commend Binsearch for dedicating the storage to support 600 days of retention and also for giving users a voice in the final decision. At the time of writing this post the vote was split right down the middle. With 50% (7,190) voting for 300 days and 50% (7,314) voting for 600 days. Most notable to us is the even split of the vote. That means 50% of Binsearch users don’t care to go over 300 days retention. At least they don’t want to give up performance or reliability for the increase.
Might we draw the same conclusion for Usenet providers? Retention is a plus as long as it doesn’t come at a cost. Either in higher price, slower performance or poor reliability. That means other factors like features, speed, reliability and bundled / add-on services could become increasingly important to those seeking newsgroup access in the future.