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Anatomy of a CPU Quota Exceeded error message.

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The nature of the beast.

On crazy days like Ping-Pong Ball Day and Draft Day (I should also add days when Wyc and Danny proclaim they are going to make an importance announcement and then at the appointed time, merely say something stupid.) we see enormous web traffic surges here at CelticsBlog. As you know, due to CelticsBlog's current hosting situation, this causes service outages for our website. On our end of things, what causes this can be boiled down to three things:

Problem #1. Rather than 200 to 400 people being on the website, we may anywhere from 500 to infinity trying to get on it. Now, if we had 1,000 people or more on this website and they weren't doing anything much, things would be fine. It doesn't work that way though does it, so that brings us to problem number two.

Problem #2. Not only is there more people here, but they become WAY more active than usual. The ready lots of bits and pieces of things, bounce around all over the website, click everything here at accelerated levels. When that happens, the "real" activity levels that we defined in number of "hits" increases from around 1,000,000 a day (yes you read that right - one million) all they way up to perhaps as many as 3,000,000. No doubt it would go even higher if the server could handle it. Of course this increased level in activity results in CelticsBlog site shutdown and the dreaded, "CPU Quota Exceeded" notices we are all familiar with. That brings us to problem number three.

Problem #3.
When the site does go offline, it is clear that most CelticsBlog clearly experience temporary insanity (or at least a large measure more than usual). The result of this is they frantically begin clicking their browser reload buttons and trying to access the site via the main link at a rate of anywhere from 1 to 5 seconds. Many hundreds or thousands of people doing that at the same is the absolute best way in the world to insure that CelticsBlog will REMAIN offline.

What CelticsBlog do to help the situation for now...

On our busiest days (like today), I will be checking our site database regularly to see if it needs optimization and/or repair. We have never really needed any repairs to it except for once when BlueHost screwed it up, but I will probably perform at least three optimizations today in addition to one I've already performed this morning. Other than just keep an eye on things, that's about all we can do. This is mainly because CelticsBlog is fine-tuned to run well in its specific server long as BlueHost doesn't fiddle with their setup.

What you can do to help the situation for now...

There is not a great number of things you can do on your end of things but there is ONE THING you CAN do that could potentially make more difference in how much CelticsBlog is online versus offline this afternoon and evening than anything anyone of here at CelticsBlog could do. It can be defined by two words: SLOW DOWN! What I mean is stop clicking everything in sight as fast as you can. Here's some specific examples of how you can do this and help keep us online:

First, stay calm as you can, slow down and do one thing at a time. Give yourself time before moving from thing you want to do, to another. Take your time when making, editing and responding to comments and forum posts.

Second, stop looking at your Updated Topics and Recent Topics and then opening ten new browser tabs or windows in 10 seconds that will contain the things you want to read. Open one, read it, post if you want, then open another. In fact, just generally take it a little easier tonight and stop banging that refresh button, clicking around at manic pace and freaking out. Slow down!

Third, IF/WHEN CelticsBlog does go offline this or any other time, don't try to reload CB into your brower every stinking second or two. Because of the way BlueHost has this server set up, it bascially measures numbers of hits and sql database queries and compares what it sees in terms of the numbers of such events allowed in one minute on this server. If it sees 500 people attempting to run multiple sql queries 30,000 times in 60 seconds, we are not coming back online until all of you people either stop doing that or leave CelticsBlog.

So what am I saying? Well, I'm saying that if we do go offline, WAIT ONE MINUTE BEFORE TRYING TO RELOAD THIS WEBSITE INTO YOUR BROWSER!

Getting the picture? So slow down your activity some. It will dramatically reduce our server load and is the one thing all of you can do more than any other thing that could be done, that could potentially help us stay up and running during times like this. I'm not saying we won't have outages if you guys practice what I'm preaching here, but I will say that we will without a doubt experience less least until another 500 or more pile in and good it all up for us.

Let me repeat one last time...slow down.

Now have fun everyone and, here's hoping for a great evening for us all. Cheers!