At 9 AM this morning, we opened up the hotel registrations for Anthrocon 2011. Here are the performance graphs, with annotations:
The arrows point to the spikes at 9 AM when I made the changes to the site live. Here's a breakdown of those stats in more detail:
- Bandwidth went from a weekly average of 326 kilobits/sec to just over 5 megabits/sec.
- # of concurrent network connections went from ~41 to 350
- CPU usage went from 45% of 1 core to roughly 200% of one core (we have 4 cores)
- Memory usage was largely unaffected. Yay for an async I/O webserver!
So the site held up just fine to the onslaught of users.
One thing I could have done better was the deployment. At about 8:30 AM, I replaced www.anthrocon.org with a static HTML page with the status, and pointed another DNS name at our Drupal installation. Unfortunately, Drupal is a bit finicky with its $base_url variable, and I had to tweak that by hand, as well as tweak the webserver config by hand. I then went to our temporary URL, published the hotel pages, made sure everything was okay, and undid all of those changes to re-deploy the website. Unfortunately, I forgot to clear out the cache in Drupal, which meant some people did not see the new hotel page until as late as 9:02 AM. Okay, so it's only 2 minutes, but I felt that it was a silly mistake that shouldn't have happened.
Next year, I think I'll look into an "auto-publishing" system of some sort to automagically make the pages in question live at 9 AM. That should simplify things for me quite a bit, and maybe not even require me to actively do anything.
Other than these minor issues, the whole hotel thing went over pretty well this morning. I monitored Twitter for the next hour or so, and was able to Tweet status updates
to everyone as things happened.
As of this writing, the Courtyard is completely sold out, and Doubles in the Westin are sold out. (but Kings are available
) Rooms at the Doubletree
are still available (along with suites!), as well at The Omni William Penn
(X-posted to anthrocon