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New Server at Peer 1

Quoth Joel:
You may be wondering if a single server connected to a T1 was enough for all the traffic this site gets, about 100,000 hits a day, more like 500,000 when I write a new article or get mentioned on slashdot. The short answer is, it was fine. Since I publish the site using CityDesk which simply generates a bunch of plain HTML files, the server doesn't have to do anything tricky like generate each page from a database on the fly.
/quoth

Joel, get some sleep.  Come back and reread your article.  The processing capabilities of your server and software have, except in rare cases, little to do with how much bandwidth is consumed by those who hit your web site.  That is to say that Fog Creek's front page wouldn't be any larger or smaller if it were the exact same content generated dynamically for each visitor.

Anonymous
Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Agreed. The SINGLE SERVER was the point there. A long time ago I used Manila to generate this site. Manila is written in an interpreted scripting language, and I was running it on a rather slow (Pentium 333) CPU for Joel on Software, and the CPU would go to 100% when it was slashdotted and not quite keep up with the traffic. But when you're serving static files, even a ridiculously outdated CPU could keep a T1 full.

The other part of this paragraph which I omitted was that a T1 just about handles the capacity you need when you get slashdotted, but only just.

Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, February 05, 2003

When budgets were tight for a website at work a few years ago I rescued a P133 server from a skip and we run the college web site on that. No one every complained about speed, not even the developers.

And while we hardly had slashdotted kinda volumes of traffic, college websites are busy enough.

Building a web server to serve all or mostly static content is about as easy as it gets.

Robert Moir
Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Joel, you write: "so I ran out to J&R Computer World and bought a $35 Linksys 5 port switch so we could hook up all three network jacks."

So I may have this wrong, but does this mean all your website traffic is going to go through this LInksys box? If so, then it might be worth spending a few more bucks to diminish this single point of failure.

Why? In a previous office setup we lost a lot of productivity one hot week with weird network problems. Replacing all the Linksys switches with another brand fixed all the strangeness. We postulate they were overheating and acting weird.

Of course your cage may stay cool and chances are the Linksys will work just fine (a switch is a switch is a ... ?), but something to think about when high quality switches are now relatively cheap.

Michael
Thursday, February 06, 2003

BTW, Dave wondered how Joel could get so much more traffic than he (by something like 10x). I reckon is more of a counting difference, no?

pb
Thursday, February 06, 2003

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