Dear Avid Fans of OpenSnow (and Newcomers from Tahoe Weather Discussion),
We know many of you that headed to OpenSnow on Friday morning in search of powder noticed that the site was lagging or failing to load. Firstly, we're sorry this happened. Early Friday morning our Tahoe forecaster, Bryan, transitioned his old site to OpenSnow, and with that transition came thousands of his avid followers. While we thought we were ready to handle the load, it turns out that our preparations were a tad short.
Prior to this morning, we had spent time beefing up our servers, adding caching (like making a shortcut to the most trafficked pages to easy load on our servers), and streamlining the backend of the site as much as possible. Then around 8am MST, everyone showed up to see where it was going to snow this weekend. At peak, we had well over 500 users on the site at the same time. While this may not seem like a lot to, it was nearly double what we usually have. Looking at the load on our servers, at times we had 4-5 times more concurrent connections than we had previously.
Right now I am workingon the website code to try make sure this does not happen again. Trust me, we hate the site being down just as much as you do.
We run our own servers on the Softlayer platform and they've been fantastic to work with. Their equipment is robust and we can make changes in near real-time. Mostly it's a learning process on our end to make adjustments to the code so the site runs faster, learn the limitations of our servers, and upgrade certain things to get - ahem - more power.
If you have any feedback, concerns, or comments please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, I am happy to chat with you.
Thanks again for sticking with us!
Meteorologist, CTO, and Guy Who Feeds the Penguins that Run the Servers