Wednesday, September 2, 2009

City Paper Online Woes

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 4:04 PM

click to enlarge ccrash.jpg
As we at Pith acclimate to our new conceptual location under the corporate thumb of our SouthComm overlords, we couldn't help but notice that the City Paper has been experiencing an unusual amount of web site downtime in recent days. Could this be some sort of insanely clever master plan down at HQ for energy savings through intermittent transmission? Will the Scene and Pith be next?

SouthComm's le gros fromage Chris Ferrell puts the kibosh on that bit of paranoia with word that CP online outages began with a server relocation last weekend that left in its wake problems with the site's firewall. Monday's lengthy outage was caused by a denial-of-service attack (yes, hackers going after the CP!) that came at a particularly inopportune moment -- "They caught us at a moment when the firewall wasn't there," says Ferrell -- bringing the site to its knees. Today's midday outage was triggered when a link from a high-volume aggregator sparked an unmanageable surge in traffic -- a capacity issue also related, Ferrell says, to the server relocation.

Ferrell, who sums up the online woes of the last few days as "a series of unfortunate events," also wanted to reassure loyal Scene readers that its online presence still resides on (pre-acquisition) servers out west, and has accordingly been unaffected.

Update (9/3, 1 pm): SouthComm's IT types clarify that Monday's outage was triggered by a Drudge link to a CP story, not an intentional DoS attack. Wednesday's outage was related to an Instapundit link, they say, with the aforementioned server and firewall issues contributing to both. Early morning outages today were a result of overnight work on these issues that took longer than expected. Ferrell tells Pith this afternoon that CP servers are now "in much better shape to handle traffic surges."

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