Know Your Load, And Expect The Spikes

Also in this month’s Software Test and Performance, Edward J. Correia talks about his experience with a Web site that’s suddenly national in scope, leading to a huge spike in visitors/users:

Watching the Today Show one morning in late January, I saw a segment about Rottenneighbor.com, a Web site relatively new at the time that lets people identify and rate their neighbors—good or bad— and post comments about them. The idea is to give people about to relocate a semblance of who lives nearby.

Those media blasts will spike your load far beyond what your normal operating parameters would indicate. The site normally runs 100 concurrent users and has tested out okay at 200 users will get to drink from the firehose after a piece on a morning program.

You’d better keep aware of whatever other marketing or PR is going on with your site to know when to worry.

I once worked on a site with rich media that was getting the full court press, including a Good Morning America segment. You’d better believe that your Director made sure that ship weathered the storm, including rejecting an ill-conceived “optimization” at the end of an all-nighter, werd.

(For a comment on another program that failed, see the post on the Simpsonize Me thing.)

Also, take note in Correia’s column about what application behavior he expects under load, and make it so.

No Responses to “Know Your Load, And Expect The Spikes”

  1. Isarian Says:

    Alas, the /. effect. My question would be this – based on your experience, how do you decide the infrastructure investment when rolling out a new service, when the chances of a traffic spike may be remote and better infrastucture may be hard to justify to management due to lack of obvious ROI?


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