When I got hackernewsed

A few months ago now I got a couple of friendly alerts from OpsGenie telling me that my web server VM was down. I logged in and poked around, but things seemed to be pretty normal. The OpsGenie alert self-resolved shortly afterwards, and I thought nothing more of it.

Then I got this little message via the comments:

Link for part 4 will not load. Server timed out. Tried 4x

After a bit more conversation (thanks Ned!) I found out that my NTP blog series had been linked to on Hacker News, and my server had received the “Hug of Death” as it’s sometimes called (we used to call it “getting Slashdotted” – back when that was more of a thing).

I checked the site stats, and sure enough:

Page view statistics from this site (by weeks)

So that explained the OpsGenie alert – when I saw the size of the jump in page views, I was honestly quite surprised it self-resolved as soon as it did.

It also surprised me to learn that so few people were aware of the Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Who Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too, although, at least some people got it. 😊

Anyway, one of the comments hit a little close to home, so I took the time to get it right and put this site behind AWS CloudFront. It seems to be working well, but please feel free to drop me a comment if anything seems amiss. Subjectively, the site seems a lot faster from outside my network, but that may be just wishful thinking.

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