CakePHP and the slashdot effect.


I have had the honor of knowing some very intelligent and successful people. One thing I’ve noticed is that they are prepared; Sometimes employees complain that they do work which was needed to be done quickly but nothing happens when they are finished. They missed the big picture; the work was needed to be ready for an opportunity – The owner is the owner because he prepares the company for opportunity – they are ready for success.

In tech circles, the slashdot effect is known as a large volume of traffic that results from getting a link to a site from a story that makes the front page of slashdot. A success for the person promoting the site using content which is of interest to others.

My preferred structure for dynamic content is to have apache look first for a index.html then if one does not exist run a script which also handles all other 404 conditions. Scripts for main content of course need to be optimized for speed AKA scalable. But the slashdot effect can overrun a server to the point that even the graphics on static pages can become a problem to serve. It is a wonderful problem to have – If all my problems could be because of to many interested people.

The madness behind my reason for looking for a static page first may already be clear to the astute reader. I can copy the dynamic page and place it into the index.html – This could be done by a script on the system which makes an http request to literally create a verbatim copy of the content (better than a xerox). This is not the same as using cache; The site can still be updated and an updated static page created with another push of a button. The site is ready for the best hit that the web promoter can provide … bring it on.

I am at a lose on scaling up and going toe to toe with slashdot levels of traffic using cakephp. Seems out of the box they do not have this base covered; Yes PHP can be configured to use a cache – But IMHO not something you want to try implementing while the server is spinning from a left hook. The cache is needed for somebody going deeper inside web 2.0 content which is changing during the traffic; But the menu page?

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