Slashdot Effect

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See also: Slashdot | Linkage

Also: Slashdotted / Slashdotting

The result of a massive popularity scramble to view an unprepared Web site, often resulting in the destination server/file being unavailable or in destructive behavior by parts of the crowd.

Also commonly used for flash crowds trying to simultaneously access a resource on a network.

Analogous to events in the real world, this effect can be seen with holiday shopping rushes and with celebrity-swarming; the overload of attention/demand affects the performance unless prepared.

The term is taken from Slashdot, one of the largest and most popular weblogs in existence, focusing on science and technical issues ("News for Nerds"). Because of its popularity, whatever they link to is often overrun by a huge crowd of Slashdot readers. Google also often creates its own slashdot effect as it adds high-rated Web site to its database.

Handling the effect

Several remedies to avoid bandwidth bottlenecks have been proposed, including the use of peer-to-peer distribution systems such as BitTorrent. Companies can also utilize mirrors or simply chose a provider with the capability for more bandwidth. This can be a larger server, a beowulf cluster, or multi-processor systems. In some cases, switching Web servers can help, as with the "Tux" or "micro_httpd" Web server for Linux, two of the fastest Web servers available.

Also, for most applications, Linux and BSD are faster than Windows and can be recompiled for one's processor, making them even faster.

However, for beginners, basic steps include: streamlining HTML, storing graphics elsewhere, adding more RAM, or asking for help from friends / related Web sites.

Links