Originally Posted by Det. Bart Lasiter
Have you considered making an archival system of sorts? There are quite a few old posts and threads that don't really need to be bloating the main forum database, but could be put into a separate database accessed by a another instance of vBulletin on a sub-domain like archive.lucasforums.com or some such thing and linked to on the front page. It would also make database backups and repairs go a bit quicker, which would increase reliability and perhaps even reduce the load on the server, unless there's a sudden rush to look at LF posts from a decade ago.
I was planning to split the post table in two (post, archivedpost) and introduce an "archived" flag on threads. Any thread with that flag ticked would become locked and all its posts moved over to the archivedpost table instead. Then you have a scheduled task running that archives threads where the last activity date is older than X days. The advantage of that approach would be that from a user's perspective you'd see little difference (could still browse old threads but not post in them, use the search feature to look for posts in one go if you aren't sure of how old they are etc).
It's a fair amount of work involved in doing that, however, since it alters fundamental functionality of vBulletin, and lately I have ended up with too little free time to pull something like that off on my own, so that project is on hold for now.