There are a lot of variables that go into how many hits and visits a virtual server can handle; from how efficient the site’s code is, to how beefy the host server is, to how over-sold the host server is (among other things.) Regardless, I still thought you might be interested in seeing some real numbers from a popular web site that we host on a virtual server:
||Visitors per Day
In April, on a 4GB RAM virtual server, this site served pages to 285,000 visitors and had 31.7 million hits.
Breaking this down further we might assume that a similarly coded web application could handle about 70,000 visitors on a 1GB RAM virtual server and about 18,000 visitors on a 256MB RAM ($19.95 per month) Brownrice virtual server.
Keep in mind that this is a custom-coded application – not an open source app such as WordPress – which generally run much slower since there is a lot of bloat in the code. i.e. I doubt that a WordPress or Joomla site could handle nearly as much traffic on the same machine.
What tools does Brownrice use to alert us to a compromised hosted web site or server? Let me show you:
OSSEC: A great open source tool that constantly monitors server log files and file systems in real-time. OSSEC’s log monitoring helps with an important part of PCI Compliance, it can be configured to automatically block bad guys from doing bad things, and its a fantastic tool for post-mortem hack analysis. We have OSSEC installed on all of our hosting servers, virtual servers, and managed customer servers. It reports back to a mother-ship server so we can keep an eye on things from a central location.
Five years ago we were constantly fighting off hackers who would hack an insecure web site then try and install a rootkit so that they could own the server. Now? Nothing. They don’t even try and attack the server. We have all sorts of rootkit detection software on our servers (rkhunter, OSSEC, etc.) and I’m starting to wonder why we bother when a hacker has everything they need when they’ve compromise a web site.
When you host Ski Area web cameras like we do, bandwidth goes big along with the storms. Here’s what one of our web cam streaming server’s bandwidth looks like over the last week. And yes, its been snowing for exactly the last three days! I’d wager we could write an algorithm that would determine ski area snow fall amounts by the amount of bandwidth that their web camera’s are using…
We’re rolling out our new web cam video players (less flash, more iOS and HTML5 support!) to our clients. The first official release was for the Taos Ski Valley web site, which you can see and use here: http://skitaos.org/webcams
So what’s the geek back-story on these video players? Read on…
We’ve been experiencing issues with one of our live streaming and web cam streaming servers over the last 24 hours. We’ve got it close to permanently fixed but may have to reboot the server once more.
Taos Ski Valley Ridge Cam. All ice!
At 12,000+ feet above sea level these are the types of things that happen to a web cam. It works, but its too frozen to do anything but zoom in and zoom out!
See it in, um, action, here: http://www.skitaos.org/webcams
Our existing server space is close to capacity so we’re building a bigger and more awesome-r one!
The new Brownrice data center will be larger, greener, and more secure than our existing server space and will utilize a smart, fresh air cooling system with air conditioning and generator backup, multiple layers of physical security, and will improve on our already robust physical network redundancy.
It will also look *super* cool.
So if you’ve been looking for a place to co-locate your servers or server racks, look no further than Brownrice. And feel free to come by anytime and we’ll give you a tour.
I LOVE when ski areas put our cameras in far away and cool places. Red River Ski Area installed this one and its called “The Summit Cam.” Check it out:
Yesterday morning we had a client who’s got a site on a virtual server email to say:
Hi Oban -
I just had a business colleague say that he went to my site, got a malware warning, and his entire hard drive was wiped out instantly.
Hard drive instantly wiped out instantly?!? Pa-leeease!
Nonetheless, this is a WordPress site so Dave
looked through the code and didn’t see anything immediately out of line. We both visited the customer’s site and neither of our hard drives were instantly wiped out (we are craaazy risk takers!) I also looked at what Google’s Safe Browsing site currently thought
of our network – which was that everyone was clean a whistle.
Dave emailed the client to say that this sounded like a false alarm but to keep us posted. I decided to run the site through Sucuri.net’s free site scan