Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

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emk
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Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby emk » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:50 pm

We've been struggling to handle the forum load all day, and I'm not sure why. Has anybody linked to us from a really high-traffic site? I saw 1086 HTTP requests in just over 2.5 minutes, which is a lot for this form. There's no obvious pattern to the traffic: It's going to different pages, using different browsers, and there are no HTTP referrer fields telling me where it's coming from.

I've temporarily upgraded the server and started running multiple copies of the forum. We can keep doing this for a while, but it can get expensive. :lol:

Let me know if you have any guesses. My apologies for the downtime, and thank you for your patience!
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Re: Struggling to handle load

Postby Serpent » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:03 pm

the increased interest may have to do with the polyglot conference?
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby Xenops » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:23 pm

I’m pleased to say that I now work full-time, and I can make contributions. :)
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby fresh_air » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:26 pm

emk wrote:We've been struggling to handle the forum load all day, and I'm not sure why. Has anybody linked to us from a really high-traffic site? I saw 1086 HTTP requests in just over 2.5 minutes, which is a lot for this form. There's no obvious pattern to the traffic: It's going to different pages, using different browsers, and there are no HTTP referrer fields telling me where it's coming from.

I've temporarily upgraded the server and started running multiple copies of the forum. We can keep doing this for a while, but it can get expensive. :lol:

Let me know if you have any guesses. My apologies for the downtime, and thank you for your patience!


Can you make a donation tab, or provide a link to a paypal? I would love to help, even in a small way.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby Skynet » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:32 pm

A DDoS attack or perhaps increased interest in new languages (and countries) after this week's election results?

Please can you ensure that international VISA/MasterCard/JCB cards are accepted (yes, that's a thing!) too for those who cannot open PayPal accounts because of their countries of origin?

Xenops wrote:I’m pleased to say that I now work full-time, and I can make contributions. :)


CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy for you!
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby Iversen » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:38 pm

Even if most of the money we as users might contribute might be confiscated by somebody's tax authorities there ought to be something left to cover the forum costs.

As for the heavy load I had intermittent problems accessing the site from around 16 to 20 CET, but right now I got on without problems. If the traffic really goes to many different specified pages it is hard to see why it should be a normal denial-of-service attack, where it is the sheer of bulk of traffic that is the important thing. To ask for specific pages somebody must have made a list of pages and set up a system to access them.

AS for the conference it is over several days ago, and I doubt that it can be the cause.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby Morgana » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:43 pm

emk wrote:It's going to different pages, using different browsers, and there are no HTTP referrer fields telling me where it's coming from.
Is that weird? No referrer field (I assume that means link)? Especially when it's going to different pages and not just the main page or a particular thread/post?
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby lavengro » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:48 pm

Skynet wrote:A DDoS attack or perhaps increased interest in new languages (and countries) after this week's election results?
...

If by your reference to "this week's election results" you meant (without letting this thread become political) the mid-term elections in any of the countries located, say, between Canada and Mexico, the common flight path is to Canada, which will require remarkably little in the way of language adjustment. Just get used to calling your "couch" a "chesterfield" and for goodness sake learn what a "double-double" is, and one should be fine. Eh.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby rdearman » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:20 pm

Morgana wrote:
emk wrote:It's going to different pages, using different browsers, and there are no HTTP referrer fields telling me where it's coming from.
Is that weird? No referrer field (I assume that means link)? Especially when it's going to different pages and not just the main page or a particular thread/post?


The HTTP referer (originally a misspelling of referrer) is an HTTP header field that identifies the address of the webpage (i.e. the URI or IRI) that linked to the resource being requested. By checking the referrer, the new webpage can see where the request originated.

In the most common situation this means that when a user clicks a hyperlink in a web browser, the browser sends a request to the server holding the destination webpage. The request includes the referer field, which indicates the last page the user was on (the one where they clicked the link).

Referer logging is used to allow websites and web servers to identify where people are visiting them from, for promotional or statistical purposes.

Basically the lack of a referrer field means that our server cannot tell where the traffic originated. For example, if I make a link to the BBC here, and our server does give out a referrer field then the BBC can track statistics which say this page was linked to LLORG and X people clicked it.
This raises a number of privacy concerns, and as a result, a number of systems to prevent web servers being sent the real referring URL have been developed. These systems work either by blanking the referrer field or by replacing it with inaccurate data. Generally, Internet-security suites blank the referrer data, while web-based servers replace it with a false URL, usually their own.


It could be whoever has linked to us has blanked the field before sending. It might be that we are simply falling victim to "The slashdot effect".

Slashdot effect
The Slashdot effect, also known as slashdotting, occurs when a popular website links to a smaller website, causing a massive increase in traffic. This overloads the smaller site, causing it to slow down or even temporarily become unavailable. The name stems from the huge influx of web traffic which would result from the technology news site Slashdot linking to websites. The name, however, is somewhat dated, as flash crowds from Slashdot were reported to be diminishing as of 2005 due to competition from similar sites. The effect has been associated with other websites or metablogs such as Fark, Digg, Drudge Report, Imgur, Reddit, and Twitter, leading to terms such as being "farked" or "drudged", being under the "Reddit effect"—or receiving a "hug of death" from the site in question. Google Doodles, which link to search results on the doodle topic, also result in high increases of traffic from the search results page
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Struggling to handle load. Are we getting heavy traffic from somewhere?

Postby zjones » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:15 pm

Is there also an increase in new sign-ups, or just in the traffic alone?

Edit: Not that I know anything about how websites work, but I'm curious.
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