Website Offline or Overloaded due to Exposure/Traffic?

Huge exposure for your business can be the best news ever – but only if your website can sustain the traffic. We’ve had several clients who got TV exposure that instantly brought their site traffic from hundreds of visitors per day to millions. Earlier today we had just that kind of situation where a small site got exposure on several nation TV networks and brought their traffic to over 100 hits/second. Luckily, we never oversell our servers and always have reserve capacity to handle these kind of situations. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with most other web hosts and we’ve gotten tons of SOS calls from clients over the years in these kind of situations.

So how does this all look like at the server level? First, apache takes the brunt of the initial hit since it’s the first server-level interaction the visitor makes (before php exectures and mysql loads).

This is how it looks with over 100 requests/sec:


Here’s how it looks over-time:


CPU usage impact:


Memory usage impact:


Bandwidth impact:


Most businesses don’t get to pick and choose when they get national attention. It pays to be prepared and not to miss your golden opportunity. Luckily this user was on T35 Hosting and was able to take advantage of the national attention and is now in buy-out talks to sell his business for millions. Although, these kind of situations are rare, it pays to be prepared – you never know when your business & website will take off.