Moving Hosts: Stress Test

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So I’ve officially switched my hosting plan from Dreamhost to Media Temple. I wrote in my personal blog about how I was considering getting the “Grid Server” plan.

Basically, the gs is supposed to protect your site from things like the digg effect. They say:

The Grid’s on-demand scalability means you’ll always be ready for intense bursts of traffic and the growing audience resulting from your online success.

Now, the only way to actually test this claim is to get dugg. So let’s see if Media Temple isn’t full of hot air and stress test this baby! Digg the story here.

Here’s what the blog is running on:

WordPress – 2.0.5
PHP – 5.1.6
MySQL – 4.1.1

For the purposes of this test, WP-Cache is off.

So if this site does get dugg, and people have to resort to using the digg mirror, I guess the grid’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.

EDIT: So this finally hit the digg front page. Let’s see if the server can stay up. I think the diggers are up for the challenge…

Also, I don’t think I’ll be making any money on ads by doing this, since Digg users are usually not the type to click on ads. But hey, while I have your attention, check out Notecentric: For sharing class notes. It’s also on the same server and running on the 64mb rails container. Somehow I don’t think that could handle the load (I’d probably need to upgrade to at least 512MB of dedicated memory). But we’ll see!


EDIT 11:16PM: So the traffic has gone down considerably since the page hit the front page of digg. It’s on the second page now. The server seemed to do fine, besides the occasional database error here and there. Most people wrote saying that if they refreshed, it would work. Thanks to everyone who helped to “test” the server. You did a really good job of keeping track of how many diggs/how slow the server was at any given time.

So some people also think this is just a big commercial for Media Temple. That wasn’t my intention, but if you think that mt is a good host, then all the better. You can totally sign up using the referral link and it would help me pay for my own hosting. I suppose I could have mentioned it upfront, but I don’t think that would have kept people from complaining about it anyway.

Someone asked if I used all of my “GPUs.” I’m not even sure that Media Temple is showing its customers how many they use yet. At least, I haven’t found any way to check. I’m sure they’ll approve of my experiment once I explain it to them. I hope.

84 replies on “Moving Hosts: Stress Test”

why don’t you try it with a page that actually has some content on it
the “digg effect” usually kills sites because they’re hosting several images/videos, or files that require lots of bandwidth

a 12kb page w/ 220kb of elements is not likely to be “slashdotted” any time soon

Also, is everyone here just stupid, or do they not realize that this is an Ad with basuguy getting referrals for everyone who clicks his MediaTemple link

12D 1U – 510 Diggs – 5-10s

But who is to say that Media Temple is not going to get a hold of this and boost your box? Then this is not so accurate.

I’m using a new Firefox plugin which measures all http requests and it seems those external links to the outside are killing his load time. I presume he’s making a grip right now from Google though.

Hmmm, perhaps those external requests are mucking things up a bit. I used to be pretty stat crazy, but I guess I could remove some of them now.

Also, for people thinking I somehow work for Media Temple, I don’t. I wasn’t even sure that my host would’ve signed off on the whole idea of me asking people to kill the site with pageloads.

Sure that link is a referral, but if you found out about their digg-proof ness from my blog, why shouldn’t I not be able to refer you?

Really, my intentions were just to see if the site would go down when dugg, and for the most part, it did well. I’m pretty happy, since I have a feeling my dreamhost account would’ve died instantly.

At over 600 diggs. Got a database error, but refresh and it loaded.

Now it’s loading very fast within 1 sec.

Have you used up 1000 GPU?
How can we tell?

786 Diggs – around 15 seconds to load (again a big gap then comes up clean)
Ctrl F5 refresh – around 5 seconds.

I’d say that was a pretty cool test and proof of this new grid hosting. Interesting…

Well, it seems like the gs system what not totally up to the challenge.

From their website “Dynamic, clustered scalability. Automatically grows to support any load level. Easily handle traffic spikes with the power of hundreds of servers powering your site.”

From what is up there, the “easily handle traffic spikes” somewhat does not include digg since some people had 45 secs. of delay.

Let’s hope that they will improve.

I just gave it a test and it took 47 seconds to get it to load (I’m on a t1).

It is 1:40 PM EST on the 31st and you currently have 820 diggs and are on the 4th page of digg (technology).

So maybe their cluster does work – maybe it takes 45+ seconds with our without big spikes?


So this is yet another test to see if we, (mt) Media Temple, are truly digg proof..i think we faired pretty well 😉

People refreshing your page and digging constantly creates a mock-DDOS attack btw. You certainly suffer from your external-calling links as EVERY time the page is reloaded, you’re calling your stat program and whatever other services you have hosted externally.

Hung..glad to have you on (mt)!

Jason McVearry
[email protected]

Well its probably 2 weeks after you performed this test and it took me 20 seconds for this page to load up in firefox on a 10meg lease line.

Not too bad from what i’ve been reading. Just hope that my host A Small Orange is as good!

Solid article, here’s a quick update with what I am finding with my Media Temple GS account. We’ve hit a few front page diggs and not only does Media Temples GS service handle the traffic, but our site also seems to speed up with all the traffic as the GS will load balance across multiple servers.

So that’s the good news… the bad news is that the GS hosting limits you to only 1000 GPU’s per month (which you can now monitor through your MT account center). My site uses a resource intensive WordPress theme and we’re now easily going over our 1000 GPU monthly limit half way through the month. So at 10 cents per GPU (when you exceed the 1000 limit) this takes our $20 hosting plan up to a couple hundred dollars per month. Ok, simple solution, upgrade to one of three DV services offered by MT (ranging from $50 – $150 per month). That was my plan until I called Media Temple and they informed me that since the DV hosting will not be able to load balance across multiple servers when needed, neither three DV options could probably handle Digg style traffic surges without slowing down or crashing the site. A media temple representative even recommended I look into their Nitro hosting option (which I believe is about $750 per month). I mean $20 per month to $750?

Not sure what I’m suppose to do now and, while I like MT overall, they have really failed to provide me with some solid guidance on this one, pretty disappointing. I would like to stay with MT, but really am not sure what to do now.

Any suggestions?

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