I feel compelled to make a post thanking my wonderful Web host Media Temple. As many of you are undoubtedly aware, this site made the front page of both Digg and Reddit a few days ago for a post about Doda Elektroda. What you may not be aware of, however, is just how much stress that can put on a server.
This site is currently being hosted on Media Temple’s Grid-Server (gs) service. What this means is that jonholato.com is hosted on a network of interconnected servers, each sharing resources with one another. Thus, Media Temple measures server load for jonholato.com in terms of Grid Performance Units (GPUs). Each month my site is given a monthly allowance of 1000 GPUs. At the end of each billing cycle the number gets reset to 1000, unfortunately it’s not an AT&T rollover type of situation.
According to Media Temple’s Web site, GPUs are calculated as follows:
A GPU is a measurement that derives from CPU time required by every single hit/request made to your (gs) Grid-Service. This includes your web server activity, programs, scripts and all associated parent and child processes across all nodes within our system (100’s of processor cores). The GRID system keeps track of all the measurements taken from your server and adds them to a running total which is calculated about once an hour. Each (gs) Grid-Service plan is given 1000 GPUs monthly, which is equivalent to continuously using 10% of a processor core for one month. This breaks down to 1.4 GPUs per hour.
To give you an idea of just how much stress was put on my server a few days ago, my average monthly GPU consumption since switching to Media Temple has historically been around 200. However, on Tuesday alone it was 258.
I don’t want to get into the specifics of traffic, but to help visualize, once the site hit the front page of Digg it was getting about 15-20 visits per second for over an hour. Despite the influx of traffic, not once did this site become unresponsive or go down. My previous Web host (which I won’t mention by name) crashed three times when I hit the front page of Reddit for the first time – not even during peak hours – and I had to dismantle large sections of code to keep it running. After that I switched to Media Temple for the reputation it has of being able to withstand the Digg Effect, and I must say it has more than lived up to it’s reputation.
So a big thank you to Media Temple, for being the Web host I can depend on.