My Overloaded Server Story
From time to time I face problematic accounts that overload our servers. Usually these accounts are hosted on shared (note: cheapest) packages. I would like to highlight the issues and sort things out.
There are lots of reasons for a simple account starting to overload a server, one of the most common reasons being that the number of visitors to a website soars (traffic), or, the code powering the web site is not optimized, is out of date, has known security holes, or any combination of the above.
From a traffic standpoint, a site that was used to having only 100 daily visitors could skyrocket to tens of thousands overnight because of some specific unpredictable event that came out of nowhere. This is generally a good problem to have, as most web site owners would like to have websites which have become extremely popular.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that bandwidth usage and load are somehow related. High bandwidth usage doesn’t mean that a website starts overloading the whole server. I’ve dealt with accounts that have used hundreds of gigabytes of bandwidth over the course of a couple days and at the same time, didn’t create any noticeable load. That is in part because our shared servers are extremely powerful and have super-fast uplinks, but also because the site was properly coded…