We are aware of the slow responsive web pages from the auction close on Sunday Night. We are pretty sure we have identified the issue and addressed it. The only way to be sure is under heavy load (The night the auction closes). We do hope this issue has been resolved but just in case as we always say get your bids in early cause if something is going to cause the web server to hang and miss bids it’s going to happen sunday night when everyone is on the site trying to sneak in a bid. WHY DID THIS HAPPEN THIS WEEK YOU ASK? … 



We feel we owe everyone an explination as the new webserver was suppose to stop this sort of thing and it failed us Sunday night again.


We think we found out why by sifting through the log files.


If you use the watchlist you may notice this change we had to make. We had to disable the notices on the auction listings page that say “you are watching this item”


Watched items will still show up in your watchlist.


The code used to make each listing show if it is on your personal watchlist or not appears to be causing some issues and errors, It is not 100% compatible with the latest server so for each auction the listing displays it logs an error each time (so if you view 25 listings per page that is 25 errors logged each time that page is loaded) during the week this is nothing and the server can easily handle logging those errors but when the server gets busy the hard drives can only go so fast writting errors and recording everything else and this is where the root problem lies.


…but not the full problem.


Once the site starts to slow down everyone trying to get bids in last minute all start to hit the refresh/reload page buttons on thier web browsers thinking that may load the page faster (That is not true, it queues each request and puts then in order when you reload/refresh your page you go to the back of the line again)


When this is done by 100’s of people over and over quickly it creates what is known as a denial or service attack (DOS ATTACK) when too many people do this all at the same time.


Basically you can crash any webserver doing this you hear about this in the news as the hackers will compromize a number of powerfull computers and have them all go to a website at the very same time and just request page after page over and over again purposely causing this issue to happen. When it’s just a few computers doing it the server simply BLOCKS the bad computers causing the problem but when it’s 100+ computers all at the same time doing it the server just starts to shut down as the queue gets too big it issues what is called a 502 error code (502 Bad Gateway error) and I am sure some of you saw this error in your browser. It’s a way for the server to stay alive.


Basically each time you load a page it asks the server to fetch all the auction data for that page from a database when 100+ computers refresh over and over again quickly. The first minute you see 10’000 requests, then this spirals into 20’000 and 60’000 and 120’000 and well you get the idea. If we start banning the computers requesting the most pages we start to block bidders access so we can’t really do that but we did temporarily block a few that were REALLY clicking that refresh button a lot so the rest of the bidders could bid. The key is to not let the server slow down in the first place and we hope fixing this watchlist issue will prevent that next sunday…. but just in case please get your bids in early (We say that every week in every newsletter).


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