Announced "network slowness"

I understand from the recent announcement about network slowness that one customer “was hosting large video files that were being heavily accessed” and that DH’s remedy was that they “disabled the site”.

I am willing to imagine that the customer hosted excessively large files and used bandwidth in gross excess of his allotted bandwidth – but this is not stated in the announcement, and that worries me. Let’s say you have a 10MB video clip on your site and you get slashdotted – will DH just pull the plug on your site?

As I said, I suspect that the customer exceeded his limits (in which case the reaction could be okay) but the announcement does not say this. Would DH please comment on this?


Well in this case, the link was a 65 Mb video clip, which was also posted to Slashdot. If anyone does something which is saturating the whole 100 mbps uplinks to two separate switches (servicing probably 25-30 machines including some centralized services like customer mail machines), not to mention racking up bandwidth bills that most customers can’t afford to pay (even if we were to give them a reduced rate), then yes, we’ll probably take some sort of action. Unfortunately, we have to place the stability of our machines and network above the needs of one site… We’re working on some other things to help with this (such as placing limits (generous limits, but still limits) on individual machines. Generally, we deal pretty well with slashdotting, but the size of the file in this case caused a problem.

I realize the announcement could have been phrased more carefully… we’re not out to get anyone, but (especially with shared hosting), we have to look at the big picture. As our TOS states, we reserve the right to take corrective actions we deem necessary in the case of resource usage we consider excessive.

In any event, we didn’t permanently shut down the site or anything… we did write the user in question and they linked to the file offsite (and also put up a bit torrent version).

A few notes if you think you’re going to get seriously slashdotted.

  1. Give us a heads-up in advance if you think you’re going to be getting hit really hard.
  2. Try to link to a static site, or rebuild dynamic content and then cache it - images are OK, but database driven stuff is much more likely to cause resource consumption issues or unavailability.
  3. Obviously try to keep image sizes small etc. You might also want to put images on a separate subdomain.
  4. Don’t post a link to a 65 Mb file to slashdot. :>

Hope this clarifies things a bit.

Excellent reply, thanks. I suspected something along those lines, and I agree with what you say. It’s just that the announcement didn’t say anything about exceeding given limits, but there’s no question that your reaction to the issue was correct from any perspective.


Thanks Will
I was about to ask the same question but found it had already been asked and answered :slight_smile:


We have a concept in Australia with most of the Broadband ISP’s of automatic throttling when exceeding download Allowances. I know DH has throttling, I utilise it on a few subdomains however by default it is NOT enabled and you have to enable / disable it per domain / subdomain.

Maybe DH should enable throttling at the domain level with removal only if paying a deposit or if you are paying via CC etc…

Just some food for thought to avoid this suitation from happening both to protect your customers and also DH.