We’re back! Here’s what happened …

Ahem. Some of you may have noticed this site was offline for a few hours.

OK, half a day.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Global Rescue -- Global Rescue is the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services. Founded in 2004, Global Rescue has exclusive relationships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations and Elite Medical Group. Global Rescue provides best-in-class services that identify, monitor and respond to client medical and security crises. Learn more about Global Rescue.

Here’s what happened: One of the stories on this site went viral, drawing hundreds of thousands of pageviews within minutes.

We thought we had a big enough server to handle it. We didn’t.

Our server melted down, almost literally. It had to be manually restarted this morning.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the snafu happened over a weekend. But, truth be told, there’s no silver lining.

We wish this hadn’t happened, and we’ll do our best to make sure it never does again.

And now, on with the show …

16 thoughts on “We’re back! Here’s what happened …

    1. This one: http://www.elliott.org/blog/5-things-the-tsa-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

      Reddit got it, and then a few others picked it up. I’ve forwarded it to my Tumbl blog; they can deal with the traffic. We’re still nursing our server back to health. 

      Poor thing. It’s not used to this kind of attention.

      1. Well I for one am happy that the abuses of this out-of-control agency are finally getting a wider audience.  Maybe some of the sheeple will finally wake up!  Keep up the pressure, Christopher – it’s obviously working.

      2. Chris, are you using a “cache” plugin for your WP blog? There’s a bunch of them out there, though I notice how well one does essentially depends on your hosting provider’s server.


    1. Jen, the next time you have difficulty reaching a certain site, visit  http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ and type in the name of the site you’re trying to visit. 🙂

  1. I thought for sure that TSA or DHS had shut you down. Well, in a way, I guess TSA did shut you down, right?

    I was searching all over the net to see if they arrested you or something.

  2. You need to scale out, not up.  Look into Amazon Web Services.  Specifically the Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) and Auto-scaling technologies that they have.  Chances are that you’ll save money in the long-run by only paying for what you use, instead of having a big server sitting around with unused CPU cycles.

    Another option would be to write a crontab to be run once every 5 minutes that looks for stories with a lot of traffic, and replace them with static, cached copies.  Serving up a static file is both cheap in terms of CPU cycles, and darn fast.

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