Graham King

Solvitas perambulum

What a visit from Reddit looks like

My credit card generator was recently on the front page of reddit. Here’s what that looks like.

Here’s htop during peak traffic (click for larger view):

100% htop

This site is Apache (WordPress) behind nginx, running on a Linode. The top banner is served by netshare, a small C program I wrote using the magic of epoll and sendfile.

The credit card generator is a real generator, every visitor gets new random numbers. It’s PHP (github) and very evidently CPU bound. Here’s Linode’s CPU graph:


I have to pause and point out how awesome Linode is. I’m paying for 1 core, and there’s 8 cores at 100%. That’s 8 times what I’m paying for. No extra charge, no angry email. During the peak of reddit traffic, the site was always responsive.

Today, what it takes to survive being on the front page of the Internet is $20 / month and a handful of basic open-source tools (WordPress, Apache, Nginx, MySQL). Thanks Linode and thanks free software!

It is often said that traffic from sites like Reddit is ‘low quality’ traffic. A brief spike of traffic, with no returning users or long-term visitors. That’s quite true in this case – here’s the WordPress site stats:

Wordpress stats

Finally, here’s the network traffic for IPv4 vs IPv6. Look at the numbers on the left. We’re not there yet.