01 Sep 2013 · @fiorix
Last night I started getting alarm emails from mongu.ru, the service that monitors freegeoip servers, as well as from some users. Service was in critical state and responding very slow because the load balancer couldn’t keep up with the traffic due to a recent change on the Internet.
About two weeks ago one of the most popular Wordpress plugins, the AdRotate has switched its default geolocation provider from geoPlugin to us. As a result, our servers were flooded with new requests and the poor load balancer cried loud becoming a bottleneck for the service.
For the past 6 months freegeoip has been serving an average of 70 million queries per day. In just two weeks it went from that to 300 million per day! Good thing is that I was contacted by Arnan, the author of AdRotate plugin before the change so I could keep an eye on it. I’d be very puzzled otherwise.
The old load balancer was a cheap $5/mo droplet from DigitalOcean, spraying requests to 3 workers of the same type running the freegeoip software. Now it’s a much better server, the $20/mo one with 2GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores. It’s expected to handle the traffic for the next months, at least.
I would like to thank all donators that help me keep this service up and running, because it’s our service not mine. I just happen to write the software and run it for us.