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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675

    Site got slashdotted...user insults us

    His site, a php blog mind you, gets slashdotted and promptly slows the server to a crawl (not just bandwidth, but resources). Obviously we suspend the site ASAP - and he's more than a little upset about it.

    He feels that our servers must be overloaded (or just plain crap) because it can't handle the added load of his site being listed on the main page of slashdot.org. I've tried to explain to him that its NOT a bandwidth issue alone...but resource-hogging that negatively affects everyone on that server. He doesn't get it.

    This is actually the second time his site has been slashdotted, and it was suspended. I've politely suggested he upgrade to a dedicated server, from his regular hosting account...which went over like a lead balloon.

    Anyway, I guess I'm asking for sympathy or similar experiences.

    --Tina
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,224
    Sympathy .. help yourself, i've a bucket full of it, take as much as you need.

    Similar ... one of our clients got mentioned on capital radio breakfast show - server normally doing 150kbs started peaking @ 18Mb/s - offered to take it down or charge them .. "keep it up *please* keep it up" was their answer... they got a big bill for 2 days hammering

    Idea ... catch the referal ip, and redirect to a framed version of the site with your and googels ads top and bottom - that way AH earns some cash and gets some exposure
    Rob Golding Astutium Ltd - UK based ICANN Accredited Domain Registrar - proud to accept BitCoins
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Hot, hot Michigan...
    Posts
    3,506
    Hah, we got away lightly a couple months ago. A 'second level' slashdotting, on a sunday early in the morning with a not-as-popular article (digital camera of some type).

    We actually got hit harder with fark, someone posted a mirror for some pictures.. A few maxclients notices, but she stayed up.

    Most of the sites that get slashdotted/farked real easy are mysql-laden, in my experience. Were these blogs pulling from mysql, or were they the type that generate a static page per update?

    Not looking forward to that first true slashdotting though.
    Ion Web Services/TronicTech
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Proud She-Geek
    Posts
    1,722
    I feel you. We had a customer whose phpBB forum slowed the server to a snail's pace on a daily basis because of the number of users he had + the number of hacks he'd installed. When we suspended the account he screamed he was losing "Tens of thousands of dollars in ad revenue" every day it was down. We explained the problem and suggested he upgrade to a dedicated server so he could use all the resources he wanted and not have to worry about the other users.

    His reply? "You all must be a bunch of monkeys who don't know how to run a server or a business if you're trying to get your customers off of your servers."

    He left the next day Never got a chance to ask him how he pulled in so much ad revenue with a forum about Britney Spears LOL. Oh well...live and learn.
    <?php echo "Signature here"; ?>

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,030
    I hear Britney Spears is popular

    150kb/s to 18MB/s!?!?!?! That is the slashdot effect!
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  6. #6
    Good grief 150kbs to 18MBs that is a huge increase
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6,596
    Best option I've found with this is to put network rate limiting on. Everyone gets to view the site (slower) but keeps the server up

    Rus
    Rus Foster - Director of Cloud @ UK2 Group
    VPS.net - True Cloud Hosting powered by OnApp and HP SANS
    Tel: +447714137805 | Email: rghf@uk2group.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Your Screen
    Posts
    3,998
    Tina, all I can say is ---ugh---

    Kudos to you for protecting the interests of your server.

    Bailey

  9. #9
    anytime we suspend customers for high resource usage, and the best interest of other customers, they come into WHT and whine and cry...go figure...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Duluth MN
    Posts
    3,864
    As soon as I start getting customers that are liable to be slashdotted/farked/whatevered... I might set up a separate server just for that. As soon as the onslaught comes, dump a static version of the site onto the the dedicated with a special "Hostedby:" bar on top with some ads. Then replace the index file with a redirect.

    Write that into our AUP and the default alternative for those events. If they would rather not have that happen, then their site can be suspended, or they can move to another host, and wait for the DNS resolution...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    24,006
    We had a client that one of his sites got mentioned [the site owner was being interviewed on the air] on some USA syndicated talk show. It was a political show, and the site was a protest site against one of the TV networks, for that Ronald Reagan TV show they made, but never aired.

    Pretty much killed the server. Had to remove the site completely from the server. Although us web hosts understand the logistics behind this, hosting clients don't understand and it's up to us to educate them as best as possible.

    Of course not all clients want to understand the limitations of the server etc. Our situation eventually worked out well. Although the client was a bit miffed for having his site pulled, he eventually understood our reasonings, and that took some rather lenghty explantions from me and a HTTPme sysadmin.
    Last edited by Aussie Bob; 03-16-2004 at 01:28 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    878
    Originally posted by jvds
    Best option I've found with this is to put network rate limiting on. Everyone gets to view the site (slower) but keeps the server up

    Rus
    How does that work? (Just a quick over-view)

    Thanks,
    Lamar
    Going out of business in our 10th year.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    878
    Oh....and Tina, you do have my sympathies!

    -Lamar
    Going out of business in our 10th year.

  14. #14

    Another view...

    Tina,
    I am not saying you did anything wrong, but it would suck if I was the customer and after years of waiting, scrounging, and begging, my blog was shut down the day after I hit the big time. My blog (shameless plug) is actually on one of your servers (Luna), I think its the only thing left I have running there.

    Do you have all your MySQL databases on another server? or on the actual hosted server (I cant remember). That could make a difference to how his site responded. And you did not share actual bandwidth numbers either.

    If it was my customer, and I had a back up server, I would have moved him there temporarily (for the sake of the other server residents) and gave him the option of paying the extra bandwidth per month, or uping his plan, or shutting the site down tomarrow. At that point, I would have made it his choice, that way no matter what he choose, he is still making the choice. It takes the pressure off of you.

    But if you did not have the resources to do that, you need to protect everyone else on the server. So I am not saying you did the wrong thing, its just that I could feel for the guy a little. Hate me if you will, and please when I hit the big time, please don't shut my little blog down. Slashdot here I come.
    Last edited by vantasticman7; 03-17-2004 at 12:16 AM.
    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" -- Ben Franklin
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    407
    what does slash dotted mean (I am new). Is it that a site gets a ton of hits in a short period of time?

  16. #16

  17. #17
    Slash dotted means...

    being mentioned on slashdot.org , its a popular tech site and anyone who gets linked there gets a ton of hits. A ton.
    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" -- Ben Franklin
    Twice Tied Laces

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Behind You
    Posts
    791
    Some quick suggestions.

    1. If they are running nuke or the likes, there is nothing you can do about the load, unless it is just the front page, then take the output and create index.html and leave that up. But any interior nuke links are killers since they still want to process that way.

    2. Block everyone with slashdot in the referal. We notify the site owner, and then place an htaccess file in place that does that.

    3. If users images are on fark etc, we help them block hotlinking.

    If a site is not that graphic intensive and just serving a static page, getting mentioned on slashdot shouldn't kill it.

    When I break it to them - either we do this or that - or suspend the site, they understand.

    Chet

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    5,403
    Yeah we've had a few slashdotted sites, and another that got "Unscrewed". Most times there's not much you can do about it, we normally make a quick mirror of the site on an empty(ish) server and hotwire the DNS to point at the new server for the www.domain.com dns and then make the site on the old server simply redirect to the new server via http://IP/~blah/ and that usually does ok. Maybe load slashdot, find the actual url being hit and put a redirect for it to a nasty note to slashdot asking them to give SOME kinda warning before they link to a website...
    Gary Harris - the artist formerly known as Dixiesys
    resident grumpy redneck

  20. #20
    Point the address to a static version of the page with no images and you'll be fine. I read a Pentium 300 MHz server survived a slashdotting this way.
    Adventures in Parenting.org - Are you a parent? Listen to the free podcast and sign up for the newsletter!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    526
    Every year, starting at two weeks before Halloween, one of our servers gets spooked out because of http://www.carvingpumpkins.com/

    Puts an extra strain on the server. Last halloween we where prepared though. As we knew what was going to happen.

    :-)
    Last edited by Maximiliam; 03-17-2004 at 03:02 AM.
    I like to help

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Australia (Crikey)
    Posts
    2,271
    how many hits do you think an average slashdotting will give a site?

    Also, I have been to slashdot.org, and it has a terrible design...how the heck did it get popular? If I started a site with that design I know what you guys would say

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    526
    Nerds does not require design, you should know that :-)
    I like to help

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Australia (Crikey)
    Posts
    2,271
    Originally posted by Maximiliam
    Nerds does not require design, you should know that :-)
    yeah yeah.......but still....the navigation is so bad and confusing I just didn't bother going there anymore.....

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Kuwait
    Posts
    10,573
    Originally posted by Sizzly
    Point the address to a static version of the page with no images and you'll be fine. I read a Pentium 300 MHz server survived a slashdotting this way.
    thats what cnn.com did on Sep 11th and page was able to load then.
    Bashar Al-Abdulhadi - KuwaitNET Internet Services Serving customers since 1997
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