The login and get a beta key never actually worked, unfortunately. You had to go through the 'apply for a key' button.
As to the comment about PostGres and MySQL. Yes, when you're using freeware not designed and optimized by very expensive professionals you hit bottlenecks. Thus, the freeware.
I'm a M$ SQL Server DBA. I know DB's. 500,000 read transactions at once WILL clog up a server, yes, especially if they don't control thread sharing and queueing at the IIS level and proper locking for 'used already' bit updates.
At the same time, the errors weren't db related. Please note, the account LOGIN page was fried. Not login lookups, not key retrieval (which was a background process for email anyway, thus not even part of the equation). You couldn't open the login page. This same problem occurred after you typed your name and pwd in... same exact issue. It weren't DB. Especially since for login data you can load share to read_only secondaries that update from the System of Record.
This directs me to the webpages/servers themselves not being bladed and balanced for load across multiple systems. One of two things happened. One: Their bandwidth maxed out. DDoS attack on self, 'eh, it happens, but it's not a permanent failure. Two: They didn't allocate enough memory/cpu across enough virtual servers to handle the external connection problems.
Even for problem two, the connections would eventually have flowed through in time with enough retries over the course of a few hours. The background servers would have processed emails and shipped out codes. Thus, there's another bottleneck, most likely internal to the network, causing significant issues. My guess is either they oversecured it or they didn't set the hubs up efficiently. ****, who knows, maybe they blew one.
One thing though is that SE obviously feels they have enough keys out for the moment to try to get the rest of the systems up to stress test levels. If their account system failed, which is relatively lightweight compared to the volume of data being transmitted for world recognition/battles/monster positions in sight range/etc, they're going to fry on full world data for the equivalent volume of patrons in game.
Give 'em a few days. They should have anticipated the hardware need but paging can sneak up on anyone. At a guess, there's some dude down at the loading dock sweating bullets when Tanaka calls him every half hour with the jp equivalent of "[New Servers][Are they here yet?]". Then some poor ******* in a 30 degree F room has to go wire them up, install 'em, get the ghost images made and installed, and then hook them to the virtual server network.
Then, after all that... we might see more keys go out. Hopefully on Saturday PST. I'd hoped to play over Labor Day Weekend. :)
Edited, Sep 2nd 2010 11:46pm by GUDare
XIV: Misfit Stormrider - Kashuan
XI: Kujata - Razoredge (Long Retired) A possible retainer idea