June 09, 2008

louisgray.com Experiences 100% Uptime During WWDC Keynote

Today, many of the popular sites aimed to deliver minute-by-minute updates to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote, as well as some social networking sites extremely popular among the technology elite, slowed to a crawl under the rush of traffic from Mac and iPhone fans hoping to get a glimpse of Cupertino's latest products. Sites as diverse as TechCrunch to Twitter buckled under the pressure, while others, like MacRumors Live, Engadget and FriendFeed, maintained stability, gaining praise.

I am happy to report that louisgray.com enjoyed 100% uptime during this rush. Here's how we pulled off the enviable feat, all without removing services, reducing features, or requiring the offloading of some traffic to partners:

1. I Posted Absolutely Nothing At All

After much advance study, I realized that one of the major issues behind some of these sites who ran into trouble was in their offering of interesting content. Whether through rumors of new products in advance of the conference, live feeds during the conference, or reaction to the conference's announcements, each of the sites had attracted a population of users disproportionate to the norm, resulting in traffic spikes well above average, invariably causing slower access times or even downtime.

To avoid such a fate, not only did I not promise anything, but I didn't post anything, not just the morning of the keynote, but in the preceding 24 hours, essentially throwing potential visitors off the scent. I believe that this strategy, delivering an overall reduction, both day over day and week over week, in terms of total visitor traffic and page views, left the site with considerable headroom, and reduced chance of service interruptions.

2. I Made No Modifications to the Infrastructure

For several years now, louisgray.com has been hosted via FTP on Register.com hosted servers, powered by Google's Blogger engine. After considering many options available in advance of the WWDC keynote, it was determined the best course of action was again, nothing. Given the site's near 100% uptime over the last few years, despite significant year over year growth, the prevailing bias was to hold off on any significant software or hardware purchases which could cause complexity.

3. I Made No Advance Promises to Uptime

Murphy's Law dictates that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Many were surprised as to Twitter's advanced promise of significant uptime during the keynote, after such a recent spotty track record. By promising 100% uptime for louisgray.com, I knew that I would, in turn, be placing myself in the line of fire for overzealous hackers and an overcaffienated faction from the Mac army, ready to take my site down like so many others.


I think there's no other option except to congratulate myself for delivery of 100% uptime during a time of considerable stress for tech media giants. Where they zigged like moths to the flame, I zagged away from the noise, bravely hiding in the corner, cowering in fear. You can count on louisgray.com to deliver the 100% uptime during such mega-tech events, both now and in the future thanks to our unique strategy of reverse traffic optimization. I hope we can count on your support.