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Massive Malicious Traffic Attacks. Cloud Hosting to Rescue?

web server load spikes

In the past week, my server was down couple times due to massive attacks from unknown sources targeting liewcf.com (this blog).

The malicious traffic caused high server load (load spikes) and brought down the server. Restarted web services didn’t help.

That was very frustrating. Website uptime is essential for a full-time blogger, just like how important is the car for a taxi driver.

Website down = No traffic = No $$$

I spent hours and hours sitting in front computer to monitor the server load. Mood went down with the server…

Fighting attackers!

Here I have to praise the support of my hosting provider — Liquidweb.

In order to monitor my server for load spikes that happen randomly, server admins are assigned for 24/7 close monitoring. *thumbs up*

In the end, the server admin blacklisted the IP addresses to return the server to normal stage.

So far, the server performance is good now. There are still some load spikes now and then, but eventually they go down before bringing down the server again.

How about cloud hosting?

Cloud server is not a solution for random load spikes. It does not auto scale. It is flexible but only when you configure it manually (on-demand server).

It is good only when your server need to scale up/down frequently. Also, most cloud server is self-managed. I am not a server admin guy.

Fully managed cloud hosting like Rackspace Cloud Sites (not Cloud Server) does auto scaling but it is pay-per-use. Thus, you might end up paying a bomb in order to keep your website online under massive attacks. Not cost efficient.

Future protection?

This is not the first time and will not be the last time.

The server has some server protection software installed but they are not bulletproof. I cannot afford the enterprise class of hosting environment (multiple server, hardware firewall, load balancing, etc).

I am considering to add a hardware firewall though.

How do you deal with malicious traffic attacks?

Update: Just when I wanted to publish this article, the server experienced another load spike last for few minutes…

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