The ward is a factory for the Combine
WordPress.com Significant Speed Improvement
now, when WordPress.com is up and running after the recent downtime, I noticed it runs times faster than did before.
yay, it flies just like a birdy, even a SSL admin back-end UI (I earlier avoided to use as much as possible) now generates pages way faster than my local server box. well, the latter is a pretty vintage of course, but anyway, literally, pages load more quickly than they could be rendered.
obviously, guys who run WP.com, either have made something great on the back-end database subsystem (restructured db schemas, optimized queries, etc) or replaced the hardware infrastructure a lot with a new more powerful one.