Web servers at several large shared hosting companies are getting a workout this week as huge waves of news-driven search traffic crash customer sites.
Admins at DreamHost awoke this morning to find a shared server besieged by traffic, and quickly narrowed it down to NastiaLiukin.com, the official web site for the U.S. gymnast who won a gold medal in the women's all-around finals last night at the Beijing Olympics. Josh Jones at DreamHost describes the effort to get Nastia's site back online:
At her website manager's request, we moved her temporarily to a different shared server with nobody else on it. It also kept crashing! So, we switched her (static html) site from Apache to lighttpd and immediately the load dropped from 200 to .2 ... but then the network port started to saturate! To deal with that, (again at her website manager's request) we turned off the auto-playing flash mp3 streamer on the front of her site (who wants those anyway), and then things were finally under control!
It's also been a tough week for Cryptomundo, the blog of Loren Coleman, who for years has been the Internet's leading chronicler of cryptozoology - the study of mystery creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Earlier this week Coleman obtained photos of the alleged "Georgia gorilla," and as the Bigfoot story spread, Cryptomundo was widely unavailable for large parts of the week. The site is hosted at 1&1 Internet, and its performance seems to have improved now that the Bigfoot hunters have completed their press conference, leaving the world's media underwhelmed.