|Blame Ron Paul and Fires for October Growing Pains
by Michael Dorausch, DC
Around October 23rd I received an e-mail from someone representing the network operations department that hosts web servers for Planet Chiropractic. It was one of those e-mails that would likely not be welcomed by many as it results in us investing a significant amount of money towards greater resources for the web site and related hosting servers. I have to admit I was actually pretty excited after I received the notification and checked the statistics on current traffic for the month of October. To date, this is the most traffic I can recall this chiropractic web site receiving in a single month, in its near 10 years of operation.
There were some hot topics, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto of Senate Bill 801, an article by Darrel Crain regarding a rattlesnake bite in San Diego, related news to the Southern California wildfires, and a story about the Ron Paul Revolution in Arizona.
The Ron Paul article was a total fluke as I just happened to be walking the streets of Tempe Arizona when demonstrators came by. I snapped a photo and posted the news story from my hotel room. The article went popular and consequently slowed the server down a bit. Less than 24 hours later I received some 600 plus e-mails (with at least a hundred from chiropractors and chiropractic students) from folks telling me why they were supporting Ron Paul for President of the United States in 2008.
This is what a letter from your server operations center may look like after thousands of people have been hitting your server hour after hour...
I am contacting you at the request of our engineering team. It appears they were doing an audit on your linux host server and noticed your account (chiropracticplanet.com) is using considerably more resources than are typically intended for a server of this type. Therefore, it is likely that you are running into significant performance issues since you are maxing out your burstable resources on a very consistent basis. In fact, you are using roughly 3 times the guaranteed processor resources of your particular server, at most times, which is causing high latency for any request your account receives (HTTP, SMTP, etc.).
The basic idea with your current linux package is to attempt to stay within your guaranteed resource limits, as often as possible, and then use the burstable resources when traffic or resource spikes occur. Instead, when you rely on your burstable resources as "guaranteed", then you will most likely run into performance slow downs when other customers are utilizing the burstable resource you've been relying on. I hope this helps explain the resource usage situation and provides you with a better idea of how burstable resources are allocated.
I would be happy to offer you a free 7-day trial upgrade to a higher package tier. My only concern is that, since you are reaching your CPU resources cap, I am not certain that an upgrade into the next tier will offer optimal performance. At which point, you may want to consider possibly even a plus server instead.
After you've had a chance to look through this information and consider a few options, please let me know your thoughts. I will be happy to work with you to find a more suitable package tier that will better support your resource needs. I hope this helps and I look forward to receiving your reply.
Fortunately we went with a server upgrade over the weekend and everything appears to be running real smoothly. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who took part in nearly crashing our server as a result of your visiting the web site, and more importantly, referring it to others. I don't expect anything crazy to be happening in November, but you never know.
Thanks again from Planet Chiropractic!