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How GoStats survived ThePlanet fire.

Discussion in 'Traffic Analysis' started by gostats, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. #1
    Hi fellow DP'ers,

    I figure I would share this interesting and hopefully helpful account of how to avoid downtime when the worst happens: total loss of power to your servers.

    Mods: I've looked through the forums lists, however, I haven't found one more applicable than "traffic analysis" since that is was GoStats does. (and there isn't section for "risk management - in business". move me around if needed.)

    First and foremost, I can hear you asking: "Yeah, right, how can your site stay up when you have no power to your servers - what kind of magic is that?". Let me explain a few details of the system first:
    -GoStats has multiple servers, while some are in the H1 datacenter (fire), some are spread out to other datacenters.
    -GoStats does not host it's DNS at ThePlanet but at DNSMadeEasy
    -GoStats uses an http load managing front end webserver: nginx.
    -The GoStats system itself is fault tolerant, and can support multiple failures of various servers in it's network.

    "Ok, so what does that all mean? how did gostats avoid any downtime?"

    As soon as the servers at H1 were going offline, the GoStats balancing system took action to route any requests to the functioning servers. That means that requests normally sent to "server on fire #1", instead went to "happy cool server #8". (ok, no servers were actually on fire!)
    SEMrush
    With this rerouting, there is another important aspect as to why the DNS did not go down like many others. Since the DNS was not hosted at ThePlanet, but instead at DNSmadeEasy's global anycast network, all DNS requests were ok. A global anycast network will provide DNS service even if some servers go down. Plus there is the added benefit of having blazing fast DNS lookups because of the many global network servers, one can be found close to your home.

    Also, GoStats was developed and redeveloped for enhanced speed and fault tolerance. The programming internals look nothing like a normal website since all requests are treated in a fault tolerant and distributed way.

    There are some downsides:
    -Some upstream functionality was temporarily delayed, such as reverse dns lookups within ThePlanet's network.
    -Overall the system's load increased because of fewer servers. There was a slight slowness but load times were still fast.
    -The advertising server was not distrubted (phpadsnew/openads), but luckily, google admanager was there to save the day! I learned of the disaster, within minutes since a fellow GoStats customer alerted me to the broken ads. I went in and swapped phpadsnew with GA manager and hardly lost any ad displays.
    -The unused gostats forum and the neglected gostats blog, were not disributed and hence stayed down as long as the servers did. But that's not such a big deal. What really mattered was that no customers had a slow site, lost stats, or a broken tracker.

    In fact GoStats is one of the few services that I know which was able to survive ThePlanet's disaster. If you relied on other services during this time who went down, don't accept it when they say "It's not out fault!". Also, I hope that you fellow DP'ers can take this info and make your business rock solid.

    Hopefully if you found this information useful, perhaps you can try GoStats out? I'm very dedicated to ensuring that you get very fast, highly available, accurate realtime wbestats.

    If you have any questions about the above, please post below for others to see, or PM me if you have private questions about how you can distribute your business.
    :)
     
    gostats, Jun 3, 2008 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Germz

    Germz Peon

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    #2
    Why not just get a different host?
     
    Germz, Jun 3, 2008 IP
  3. gostats

    gostats Peon

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    #3
    Hi Germz,

    I don't know of any host which has not had downtime. If you do, then you may not have been hosting with them for very long. I have been hosting for more than 10 years. Every single host I have had has had downtime. The Planet has an excellent track record from my expreience.

    A point I would like to make is that no host is immune to a disaster such as this. The best way to prepare yourself it to setup some redundancy and a distributed DNS.
     
    gostats, Jun 3, 2008 IP
  4. Germz

    Germz Peon

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    #4
    I have hostgator and my site has been working fine.
     
    Germz, Jun 3, 2008 IP
  5. gostats

    gostats Peon

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    #5
    gostats, Jun 3, 2008 IP
  6. Germz

    Germz Peon

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    #6
    Ok then... I must be a drunk 14 year old cause I have absolutely NO downtime this week or even month.
     
    Germz, Jun 3, 2008 IP
  7. gostats

    gostats Peon

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    #7
    lol I may not have gotten through to you - or otherwise you strategically limited your response to "this week/month" rather than ever. ;)
     
    gostats, Jun 3, 2008 IP
  8. atlantaazfinest

    atlantaazfinest Peon

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    #8
    Yea i dont believe he opened his horizon to ever lol.. but to my knowledge alot of server for hostgator are on the H1's servers.
     
    atlantaazfinest, Jun 4, 2008 IP