Designing Infrastructure for SlackerNews Launch

Background #

On Monday, I’m officially launching, the best of HackerNews, powered by artificial intelligence.

In this post I describe the steps I took to ensure the burst of activity on Monday morning would be handled gracefully.

Goal #

Support up to 5,000 users clicking once every 10 seconds, with a median load time below 1 second.

5,000*6 = 30,000 pages/min -> 500 pages/sec.

Median Load Time:
<1 second

Tools #

Test Details #

Test Actions #

Simply load the front page
2016-07-30 12_29_16-Settings.png

Settings #

Constant load
2016-07-30 12_29_40-Settings.png

Original Hardware #

Specs #

Virtual Machine on Dedicated Hardware
CPU: Intel Xeon E5606 @2.13GHz
OS: Windows Server 2012R2 Standard

Overall Results #

Looks like we need a new strategy for the minimized bundles included in MVC 4 by default
2016-07-30 12_31_00-Settings.png

Avg page load times #

Saturated, climbed from 7 seconds up to 35 seconds per response
2016-07-30 12_20_51-Cortana.png

Throughput #

Way below target (500pages/sec): 20 requests/sec
2016-07-30 12_23_30-Settings.png

New Hardware #

Specs #

AWS EC2 c4.large Instance:
CPU: 2vCPU Intel Xeon E5-2666 v3 (Haswell)
RAM: 3.75 GB
OS: Windows Server 2012R2

Overall Results #

2016-07-30 13_46_14-Photos.png

Avg page load times #

205ms is amazing, this should load very well even on mobile
2016-07-30 13_46_59-Photos.png

Throughput #

Excellent throughput, looks like reducing number of network requests by combining or offloading static contents will enable even higher page throughput
2016-07-30 13_47_23-Photos.png

Server Stats #

Very low CPU usage, CPU looks over-spec
2016-07-30 13_45_34-Photos.png

Summary #

Although it’s always good to have a healthy margin for PR events, we would probably be better served reducing the size of the instance, and consolidating or offloading static content (css, javascript, images, fonts).


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