From the Blogosphere
It’s the Big Game. Your Website Is Crashing. What Do You Do? [#DevOps]
It may seem like the game is over and there is no chance of getting the system running, but remember your training and keep calm
By: Tim Hinds
Feb. 1, 2015 09:00 AM
It's hard to believe, but the conclusion of the NFL football season is upon us. In the east coast vs. west coast championship rivalry, Neotys will be rooting for our own New England Patriots. It shouldn't come as a surprise, as our office is only 35 miles from Gillette Stadium. Not only will the Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in the big game, but many web-based companies will be taking on large-scale traffic challenges after airing their prime time commercials that day. After hearing this, you should ignore the pregame hype, put down the nachos and get your servers ready for maxed out user load.
You've Visualized the Win... But Not the Loss
Then it happens... Just as it seems you are crossing into the end zone for a touchdown, you feel the football start to slip from your grip. Website performance metrics begin to fail and the entire system seems as if it's about to go down. CPUs are spiking and system memory is at its max. It is at this point you realize, the whole application is about to crash!
Where Did the Game Plan Go Wrong?
As you know, if your site wasn't optimally functional prior to the traffic increase, a small problem in your ecommerce engine, system configuration, or usability could exponentially compound in times of high use. If you've set up your live metrics and tracking data properly, hopefully you know that your site is failing before your users do. It is imperative to be one step ahead of them before problems become severe.
It's Time to Call an Audible
The easiest way to narrow down the source of the problem is to utilize data. It's time to scour through your monitoring systems to see what went wrong. If you have been running simulated user monitoring like NeoSense, reference that system as it can give you valuable data. Once you have checked through other logs, you hopefully will have narrowed the problem down to only a few possible catalysts.
Recover and Make the Game Winning Drive
In any case, figure out if the entire site is down or if just a small portion is down and keep the working parts in order.
If problems are load-related, get some new servers up and running as soon as possible. Hopefully you are on an elastic platform that will allow you manage your load balance overflow. With so many active current users, also check your auto-scaling settings and make sure you are initiating the correct ones.
Run a Few Plays
Celebrate the Win
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