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Thursday, June 20 2019 @ 11:54 AM UTC

Traffic Surge Crashed Website Server (Sorry)

What is PG? By DON WINNER for - Apparently a lot of people all wanted to read about the ongoing strikes and protests in Bocas del Toro last night, and a surge in traffic to the website crashed the server. This is frustrating, because it's not the first time this has happened. Back in 2007 when Toni Grossi Abrams was killed in Panama, CNN and FOX picked up the story in New York and included a reference to Panama Guide in their reporting. The response from the public and the sheer volume of Internet traffic to the website instantly overwhelmed the server - at that point in time I was still on a "shared" server. Learning from that event, I had my service provider shift the website to a "dedicated" server, meaning my website sits all alone on it's own box. That was supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

It Happened Again: Well, guess what. About 18 months ago the same thing happened - server crashed due to a traffic surge. The answer from the service provider this time was to upgrade the RAM on the dedicated server. So, for the past 18 months I've been paying an additional $30 bucks a month for more RAM - which was supposed to be there specifically to keep the server running in the event of another traffic surge. And it's been working fine, until last night.

Watched It Happen: At about 5:20 pm last night I issued an email containing links to the articles I published over the weekend about the strikes in Bocas del Toro. Shortly thereafter I watched as the simultaneous connections grew from 50, to 70, to 90, to more than 110, and then more than 140. As the number of simultaneous connections went over 140, which is unusual, I even took a screen snap at the time. Then, about five minutes later the website crashed. I knew immediately what had happened - traffic to the website had overwhelmed the server (again.) I immediately notified the service provider and they rebooted the server and the website came back up. However, one of the MySQL data tables had crashed so there were no articles available. It took a second level technician another couple of hours to repair the table, and when I went to bed last night the site was fine. Apparently the table crashed again sometime during the night, and right now they have fixed it (again) and are working to keep it from happening again.

My Apologies: It's hard to complain about too much traffic to the website. However, the technology behind the site should be able to handle any kind of a surge - even if it's 10,000 simultaneous connections or more. In any case, I apologize for the problem and any inconvenience it might have caused, and hopefully I'll be able to learn something about why this happened and take even more steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. And as always, thanks for making the #1 source of English language news in the Republic of Panama. My readers (you guys) are the best...

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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