Quote from Tsuuga
Does anybody have an actual source for this? I've read the whole thread since the site went down, and as far as I can tell, here's what actually happened:
Someone mentioned he wrote a script that checks for an update once per minute. The site goes down. Various people assume that one person is actually between 100-8000 people, and have DDOSed the site. Another person claims that the "DDOS" has overloaded "the database", and everyone posting afterwards takes the whole thing as gospel.
I've got a couple problems with this story:
- Nobody who is in a position to know is cited whatsoever.
- DDOS attacks don't work that way - a real attack would result in the site being very slow or your browser idling for a minute before giving you its own "Coudn't find it, sorry" page. What actually happened was the site ran fine, then suddenly switched to a Database Error page which was still being served from Eloraam.com.
- I'm no web developer, but how could excessive requests for information overfill a database which is necessary for a site to serve information? If folks can't put a more specific name to it than "The database" I'm going to have to dismiss it as grade-A technobabble.
Blogging software, including Wordpress installations, requires a database, generally a MySQL database, to store everything from user account information to blog content. The error displayed on Eloraam's site indicates that the front end Wordpress code can't communicate with the database server.
This can happen for several reasons, including a DDOS. MySQL is commonly configured to serve a maximum number of connections, and will drop them when there are too many. If the web server can handle the load, but the database server can't, the page will appear to load quickly but will return an error like on Eloraam's site.
Of course, the site's administrator could have just turned off the database server. This is a pretty unprofessional move; generally you'd want to put up a static maintenance page on the main site, but it is an easy way to turn off a blog. I'm pretty sure that's what happenend: other people in this thread have said as much, and focused DDOS attacks don't last this long. It's possible that the site was originally DDOS'd and someone shut off the database to stop it, and then never turned it back on. It's also possible that the blog has become so popular that the server couldn't handle it, and someone shut the db server off to save money. Wordpress databases can be pretty brutal on a db server.
Eloraam hosts her site over at www.linode.com (according to DNS), which means that she's sysadmining her own server. In my experience, developers don't like to sysadmin. In fact, pretty much no one wants to sysadmin unless they really like messing around with servers. I would speculate that she hasn't had the time to really tune a database instance, so she shut the db server off to save money and effort.
Of course, all of this is conjecture and hearsay. Maybe she's just sick of her fan base. Reading this thread, I wouldn't be surprised.
Source: I am a Systems Administrator.