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Apple iPad mini Announcement Drives 4 Million Hits To gdgt

Today Apple unveiled the sleek and sexy iPad mini and gdgt was again at the forefront to cover the iPad mini launch event live.

Again, millions of the Apple faithful turned to gdgt’s live blog for photos and updates straight from the announcement, in which Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the mini me of iPads. The new iPad mini features a tight 7.9-inch screen and weighs just 0.68 pounds.

During the launch, gdgt, which is hosted on Rackspace Cloud Sites, handled 4 million pages hits in just two hours. The graph below shows the traffic spike that gdgt experienced in that time frame.

Here are more details and numbers on the traffic that flowed through gdgt live blog:

  • Total Traffic Served – Approximately 4 million page hits
  • Peak Traffic – Approximately 2.2 million visitors in an hour
  • Time Frame – Approximately two hours

The event ran so smoothly that Ryan Block of gdgt gave Rackspace a shout out on the gdgt Live Blog during the event:

How was gdgt able to handle the spike when other sites covering the event were down?
The gdgt live blog is hosted on Rackspace Cloud Sites. A week before the event, gdgt gave Rackspace a heads-up that it will experience a huge traffic spike. Rackspace and gdgt worked together to prepare for this kind of traffic. While gdgt ensures that its code is highly optimized, Rackspace ensures that we have all the infrastructure resources and that we follow our best practices for high traffic events. Here are some of the stats on infrastructure that was used:

  • Number of web servers – 28
  • Number of load balancers – five

Other gdgt and Apple Events

This is not the first time gdgt handled such a massive boost in traffic during an Apple product launch. Here are other gdgt high traffic events:

Power and Economics of Cloud

If gdgt had used a dedicated server it would have had to buy the infrastructure required to handle the solution i.e. 28 web servers and five load balancers.  That would be approx. $20,500 per month (taking a low-end server for $600 each and a load balancer for $650).

To power its live blog, gdgt users Rackspace Cloud Sites which costs just $150 per month. PERIOD. Cloud Sites includes all of the  Infrastructure (servers, load balancers, firewall, DNS, OS, DB, storage, network) resources and customers (such as gdgt in this case) DO NOT pay extra for it.

Once again, Cloud Sites helped gdgt be the go-to live blog for a major Apple announcement.

And gdgt isn’t alone; check out a few other high traffic events that Cloud Sites handled recently.

Want to know how you can handle high traffic events on Cloud Sites? Check out this Knowledge Center article for more info. And here are some best practices for optimizing your site on Rackspace Cloud Sites for a high traffic event.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Tarun Bhatti.

As a founding member and marketing lead for Rackspace's DevOps Automation Service, Tarun enjoys spending half of his time talking to customers about about their DevOps needs and other half working with the team to build the offer that meet customer needs. At Rackspace, Tarun has led various growth initiatives and product marketing for the cloud portfolio, including SaaS, Hybrid Cloud, Managed Cloud, Cloud Sites, Cloud Monitoring. Connect with him on @TarunBhatti, Google+ or Linkedin

Connect with him on Twitter @TarunBhatti, Google+ or LinkedIn.


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