Got a big event coming? The kind that creates so much excitement that people sit in front of their computer waiting to get tickets the minute they go on sale?
We hope you know by now that we can
increase the server capacity if you notify us ahead of time. You may estimate the online traffic will increase by 25%. One of our clients had a recent event for which we all underestimated the server load, so we've come up with a new, "highly scientific" measurement term - the Willie Nelson.
Maybe 25% more web traffic equals two Willie Nelsons. Maybe 50% equals four Willie Nelsons.
Here's what happened:
We were watching as the performances went on sale. The CPU usage hit a high of 44.8%. That should have been able to handle the load, but the performances were more popular than the estimate. This was a surprise because this configuration had been more than adequate for other shows.
The problem is once we are locked into a particular configuration, it can't be easily changed. It means shutting down the server and re-starting it. That takes about 30 minutes and your phone lines would jam with a lot of angry customers.
We needed to give the servers more resources - they did have about double what we usually give. What we needed was about five times that.
We can increase the servers, but we need an idea of how much.
How many Willie Nelsons will you need?