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Invented the Internet
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 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.


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Will Host for Food
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: London, United Kingdom
Posts: 4,162
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

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Retired Moderator
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.

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Retired Moderator
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 and learn.

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Web Hosting Master
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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WHT Addict
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 129
Good grief 150kbs to 18MBs that is a huge increase

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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 6,594
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


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Too smart for her own good.
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.


Account Disabled
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 1,726
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...

Web Hosting Master
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...


Older than the Internet
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 24,004
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.
Web Hosting Master
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

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


Going out of business in our 10th year.

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 878
Oh....and Tina, you do have my sympathies!


Going out of business in our 10th year.

WHT Addict
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 174
Another view...

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.

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Last edited by vantasticman7; 03-17-2004 at 12:16 AM.
Aspiring Evangelist
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?


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