The Slashdot thundering herd has made several "visits" to my web site - in 2002 & 2003 for my christmas lights and christmas webcam and then in 2004 for my halloween decorations and halloween webcam. My ISP popped a 40-amp circuit breaker in 2002 (really did happen!), but you can read my detailed writeups of the:
While numerous folks have written about the Slashdot Effect, this was a little different in that not only was it a test of "digital" stuff like the web server, ISP bandwidth, Perl/CGI code, but also "analog" stuff as the code has interfaces to various sensors and the webcam itself, plus you are turning a lotta lights ON & OFF - it certainly provided one heck of a light show for the neighbors! ;-)
Christmas/2004 Update: Now using mod_perl ... shoulda done this a long time ago - ApacheBench testing shows CGI is now capable of 20 requests/second versus 4 using cgi_exec ... so this rocks ... and even uncovered a coding boo-boo where I forgot to close a lock file in a certain case - but I'm sure there are few others that will pop-up in "stress" testing. And once I disabled KeepAlive in httpd.conf, the 2.4 GHz XEON (with a Gbyte of RAM) held up pretty darn decently to not one, but two waves of (inter)national media attention as the christmas lights webcam hoax was revealed.
Halloween/2005 Update: I ante'd up the big bucks for a 2nd server to handle the images. I also finally switched over to Apache2 and have most everything running under mod_perl which just ROCKS. So while the web site has always been pretty responsive, I'm now really well prepared for any possible heavy traffic. And with KeepAlive OFF in httpd.conf, I bet these two 3.2 GHz Pentiums with a GByte of RAM running Linux/Apache (connected at 100 Mbit/sec) will even be able to handle the "slashdot effect" - it will be interesting if the /. crowd decides to pay a visit ... ;-)
In 2002, there was a single 1 Ghz Pentium box with 128 Mbytes of RAM
on a T-1 connection.
For 2005, there are FIVE web servers handling the load. They all
run Linux/Apache (mod_perl rocks!) and are 3 GHz or so Pentium boxes
with a Gbyte of memory - all 100Mbps connected.
I.e. there is half a Gigabit of bandwidth available - BRING
IT ON SLASHDOT! They chicken'ed out.
Two servers load balance
the christmas movies since those are huge.
The third server handles only ChristmasCam #1 and #2. The fourth
server handles ChristmasCam #3 and a few misc. images like those buttons.
And the fifth server handles the rest of komar.org. I.e. I could add
one more server to fully load balance this real-time application,
but that would be it.