Scott Hanselman

Slashdot Traffic, Site Statistics and dasBlog Performance

January 12, '04 Comments [6] Posted in ASP.NET | DasBlog
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I was talking with Omar today and he wanted to see some traffic details posted from the day I was Slashdotted.  Some folks didn't think that dasBlog was up for the test.  Frankly I was surprised that the traffic was so low!  Seems like everyone's site tips over when they get Slashdotted.  I'm just running the standard shared hosting plan at OrcsWeb.  Even during the height of it I was still running around in the admin interface without a burp.  I was getting quick page views and hadn't even turned HttpCompression on yet.  Note, this is just page views, not every Http GET (don't want to count gifs, etc) or Aggregator Traffic.

Date Views
Sun Dec 21st, 2003 1,751
Mon Dec 22nd, 2003 12,928
Tues Dec 23rd, 2003 4,227

It doesn't seem like that much traffic to me.  I transfered 1.54GB that day.

Then again, I only get about ~2,000 page views a day; most of my traffic is Aggregator traffic.  Monday's have typically been my biggest days.

Why did dasBlog make it and others fail?  Maybe this says something about the average web site on the net? Or the average hardware?  Or .NET? 

Or maybe it's just that with the proliferation of Blogs out there, more people get there news from the set of all sites that are NOT Slashdot?

What do you think? 

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Monday, January 12, 2004 9:41:49 AM UTC
Hi Scott.

Let's see. 13K page view over 24 hours means average of 9~10 page views per minute. I don't know how many images your page had but assuming 20, you got 3 resource requests per second. I would say that was pretty good particularly since hit rate would have been pretty high at peak time. Did you have front page cache on?

Also there is the question of how many requests didn't get served because the server was busy. I know that being able to withstand the onslaught without server going down is an accomplishment and I am glad to know that ASP.NET is robust, but the ultimate goal is to serve resources so know how many didn't get served is important IMHO.
Monday, January 12, 2004 3:01:21 PM UTC
The das Blog Cache Engine must have helped too.
Monday, January 12, 2004 3:54:53 PM UTC
Thanks for sharing the numbers. As you mention, it doesn't seem like a lot of traffic. I had the impression that it would be more, due to all the hype that the term "Slashdotted" has gotten. 12k page views and 1.5gb transfer in one day seems almost trivial to handle. Do you have any reports that show the traffic bursts that day? Did the majority of the traffic come in single hour in the morning?

Some of the slashdotted sites I've seen that crash are simple HTML files, so this is very interesting.

BTW, great job on writing interesting, unique and controversial content that got you slashdotted in the first place!
Monday, January 12, 2004 4:40:34 PM UTC
On my site, dasBlog caching is, and has always been off. It's still off. I've had to much trouble with the pages not rendering at all when it's turned on.

I'll look for traffic bursts for that day. Perhaps it's the bursts that knock sites over. Most of the traffic came steadily between 9am and noon PST.

According to the event logs, I had only 2 errors that day, which were the "collection failed to enumerate errors" that can happen if you change content while it's being eneumerated. But noone was turned away, and ASP.NET didn't recycle.
Monday, January 12, 2004 10:41:22 PM UTC
I think you are assuming that people READ the articles at /. before commenting. ;)

It's usually the spike that gets people. But given that this topic (new ways of filtering email) had been covered a few days earlier, most people probably didn't read your article. Just said the same thing they had earlier or responded with the knee jerk response "Wow, threaded views in email. Just like technology {0}",InsertOldTechnologyHere
Monday, January 12, 2004 11:14:53 PM UTC
I don't write anything interesting enough to be slashdotted, but two lecturers in our department did, and I put pictures of the live stats statistics up on my web page:
http://www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz/~kirk/#20021025

I don't have the figures, but from the pictures it looks like more than a gig of traffic for each of the first two hours. Ours was an html page linked to a 2mb PDF download, and what temporarily maxed out our server was too many open connections - because it took too long for each person to download the PDF, the connections were open too long.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.