Neowin server hamsters get 'Dugg', suffer heart attack

We apologize for getting caught with our pants down today, but our friends at Digg and Reddit have been slamming our forum with traffic over the last few hours. Our servers buckled under the pressure, but it's hard to survive the Digg wave, especially when we get a pretty heavy level of traffic on a normal day for our servers. (Our traffic load today is almost twice our daily average, and we've blown away our concurrent user load record away by nearly tripling it.)

Yesterday myself and two of my co-workers took apart an old hard drive that we found in a stack that were being sent off to be destroyed. The drive was an 8GB Quantum Fireball that had a nasty rattle to it. Since we'd never heard anything this bad coming out of a hard drive we decided to open it up and see what was causing it. To our amazement the drive looked like it lived up to its Fireball name.

So here are the photographs you've probably come here looking for. Again, we apologize for the inability to reach the site. Our Developers did their best to get everything back up as quickly as possible.

Fried Hard Drive: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

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By the looks of the picture it looks like the drive somehow got moisture inside which in turn created corrosion. I just wonder if beside the noise it was making if it was capable of actually holding data.

I am not surprised. I have seen allot of dead Quantum drives when repairing customers computers. That is why I recommend Western Digital or Seagate.

I wondered what was happening, it's not the worst HDD burnout I've seen but pretty close. Nice to see you're up and running again though.

Go pull it apart and see what it looks like! Then post pics... maybe warn the staff as well that the hamsters are going to suffer another heart-attack.

I've seen my share of literally fried drives (usually PCB board burns) but I've never seen heads saw through the platters before. That's insane.

Countdown for termination has begun... :P
Gotta love & hate digg :)
Love because it MIGHT bring more knowledgeable users to teh community...
hate.. well them damn hamsters are getting too fat to be DIGGing...

Heh, I have an old Quantum Fireball that died on me due to its pcb board being fried by a bad power supply. It was an 8.4 as well, I believe. I was always tempted to find a replacement I/O board to see if I could resuscitate it. I'm half tempted to ask for the serial # on that lol.

That's not fried. Quantum's did that all the time, especially SCSI drives. That is the magnetic coating on the silicon platters coming off. Though never a good thing, it is pretty far from being "burned"


Not to undermine any of the devs, but I can provide some suggestions on optimizations. I run a sites with half the # of posts as neowin so I know how hard it is to keep a server up and running especially when you've been hit with the digg effect.

I'm also curious as to how neowin is setup? 2 MySQL servers on a cluster/replication? And 2 Apache nodes on a load balancer?

Pretty much.

We have been switching back and forth between directing traffic to the front page and the forum post to experiment with how much load we can sustain. 11k seems to be about the limit for the forums. The front page code is much lighter and can easily handle the pressure.

We've never had any other period where we could do this before. We have never been slammed on this level before, not at this level, at least not in recent memory.

I am sure the developers will be making adjustments as needed.

What the heck we have hard drives at work, working 24/7/365 non stop reading and writing and that's never happened to us... what the heck was wrong with that drive!

Looks almost like a hard drive I took apart a couple months ago at work -- it too was set to be thrown away. Bye bye server hard drive.. hello... black dust!

Need a better camera. I'd say if that was the IBM Deskstar I had years ago it'd be glass sand by now. (it already turneed to sand when it did die.) Glass platters do not rock

(KoDeXeRo said @ #6)
holy smack... i posted a thread about it but then saw this one but then someone posted again in it saying it's up to 9000 users!!! It's so weird too, my browser froze when i loaded that page and i had to crash IE. LOL

Damn happened again, whenever i get the board message (server too busy) my IE locks up... LOL

That's the thread.

I was having that problem to, browser locking up trying to go to Neowin. Why was the Neowin busy page causing that?....