Today’s outage

By Jacques Chester

Approximately 4 hours ago, Ozblogistan began to receive a very high level of traffic. During this period my performance tracking tools stopped working so it is difficult to tell how much traffic was received during the period.

A few minutes ago I kicked over our web server to reset all connections, which resolved this matter last time. This time too, apparently.

There are three possibilities:

  1. Misconfiguration of the web server software
  2. A badly behaved indexer program
  3. A denial of service attack

I am confident that the server is correctly configured, but I cannot eliminate the possibility that I am misinterpreting the available performance records. That kicking the server over “fixes” the problem might suggest this possibility.

If there were a badly behaved indexing program crawling all Ozblogistan sites, it should have turned up in my Cloudflare dashboard which, so far, it has not.

The odd man out in the Ozblogistan network is Catallaxy Files. The Cat is the only site currently not “behind” Cloudflare’s protective service. If we were receiving the loving ministrations of a badly behaved indexing program, then that program was exclusively crawling the Cat.

The unhappiest possibility is that this was a denial-of-service attack; again, directed against the Cat. Sometime in the next few days I expect that Catallaxy Files will be placed behind Cloudflare along with the other Ozblogistan sites and that this will prevent any such attacks from being successful.

Well, that’s it, folks. Please resume your usual blogging and commenting.


  1. Posted October 22, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Well, if it is a DDOS on Catallaxy, may I say those responsible are cowardly slugs?

    Dear peeps, if you do not like your enemies, you may argue with them, not shut them down. For my part, I shall advocate sending those responsible for this sort of thing to gaol for as long as possible.

  2. Posted October 22, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    It’s hard to say if that’s what it was. Previously when this happened I was more confident because I had the charts showing that not only did requests spike, but network traffic did also.

    This time the server was sufficiently slammed that my charting tool couldn’t fetch the network traffic stats.

    I’ve adjusted some of the settings which might make us slightly more resilient for the rest of the day.

    One thing that bugs me is that if I could get nginx to behave the way certain articles suggest it could behave, the total service capacity of the server would rise by easily 20x.

  3. Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Quiggin’s blog is still fritzed.

    Last night I put a comment on it which mentioned Obama’s “Kill List”.

    Hope that wasn’t what melted Ozblogistan!

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