Strategy: Three Techniques To Survive Traffic Surges By Quickly Scaling Your Site – HighScalability.com

Matthew Might, as a first responder to a surprise traffic surge on his inexpensive linode hosted blog, took emergency steps that you might find useful in a similar situation:

  1. Find the bottleneck. Reloading the page in firebug showed the first page took 24 seconds to load and after that everything else loaded quickly. In retrospect this burst meant the site was thread limited as the CPU was idle.
  2. Cut image sizes in half with a shell script using ImageMagick’s convert. Load time is now 12 seconds.
  3. Turn dynamic content into static content using a static index.html file  copied using the browser’s “view source” feature. Load time is now 6 seconds.
  4. Added threads to the Apache configuration file. Load time is now 2 seconds. Crises averted.

Because of this quick thinking and quick action the patient survived to serve pages another day.

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