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Slashdot aftermath

Yesterday's Slashdotting only brought in about 4-5x the normal daily traffic. As it turns out, I was actually getting hit by a one-two punch: two days ago was a big traffic spike due to a Obi-Wan Kenobi Valentine's image I posted from Something Awful (people were loading a 150K category archive page).

Looking at the number of visits:

08 Feb 2007 3832
13 Feb 2007 4782
14 Feb 2007 7946

15 Feb 2007 18078

18,000+ isn't that terrible in comparison to the normal 3,000-4,000 daily visits. It certainly would have been much higher had my server not been burning toast.

Yesterday was actually a good day from a bandwidth perspective (300-450MB is normal).

08 Feb 2007 412.45 MB
13 Feb 2007 658.47 MB
14 Feb 2007 946.67 MB
15 Feb 2007 457.37 MB

NOTE: The heavy bandwidth on the 13th and 14th was due to the Valentine's traffic.

# of pages and # of hits was only about 2x normal.

So, from a traffic perspective, it wasn't really the DSL line that was at issue. My Apache server (for whatever reason) wasn't able to handle the # of requests coming in. I blame Windows/Microsoft, as always (not my lack of skills in configuring an Apache conf file ;) ). Looking at my network utilization graph, the Apache server would handle the incoming requests well for a couple of minutes without fully saturating the link. Then there would be a sharp spike and the graph would flatline as the Apache server became unresponsive.

Perhaps the more interesting statistic was how I did with my Google ads. I believe I'm not allowed to share those directly, but I can make the following summarizations:

  • click-through ratios went down on my blog. Slashdot traffic is not ad-friendly.
  • click-through ratios on everything else went up about 3-4x.
  • yesterday still was not a 'banner day' with respect to ads

One nefarious conclusion one can draw from this is that slow site = better ad sales. This makes sense: people see the ad load, but the rest of the content is slow in coming and they decide to leave.

Comments (1)

Some of the things that can help with your issue [in order of importance]...

1)Adding more RAM to the server

2)Setting the following httpd configuration directives to your needs...
KeepAlive, KeepAliveTimeout, MaxRequestsPerChild, ServerLimit, MaxClients, MinSpareServers, MaxSpareServers, StartServers

3)Using different servers for static and dynamic content, with the ProxyPass directive.

You can also use a lightweight server such as lighttpd (which has win32 ports) as the front-end server or as a replacement to Apache.

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on February 16, 2007 10:13 AM.

The previous post was F- You Slashdot!.

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