My good friends (and favorite client!) at PRX were featured on Slashdot today. Inevitably, this brought about a ton of unexpected traffic which momentarily took the site offline. After tweaking some HTTP/1.1 keepalive settings in Apache and increasing the max heap size on the jvm, things seem to be pretty stable.
Their /. experience seems to have been pretty similar to mine in that traffic seems to top out at around 1.5Mbps and is pretty solid for about a day. As a reference, we’re talking about an increase in traffic like this:
I still have yet to figure out why some sysadmins can’t handle slashdotting. By my estimates, a reasonably well designed system running on an $800 desktop machine ought to be able to handle spikes like this.