Yesterday, I heard from my friend Jon Armstrong about some nervousness he was having about Dooce, the site he maintains for his wife Heather. This incredibly popular blog migrated to Drupal recently and when I ran into Jon at South By Southwest, he was very happy with the move. However, on Monday, Heather announced that she was giving away a coveted Wii Fit, and that people could "enter" as many times as they would like simply by commenting on the post.
Bang! The starting gun went off. Later that day Jon posted Drupal is RAD to his blog about how impressed he was with Drupal: "In an hour, there have been over 1,200 comments." But word kept spreading around the internet about the Wii Fit giveaway and the speed of comments was growing exponentially. They're running on a single web server and haven't really "tricked out" their box with any special performance tuning or anything.
However, he wasn't going to be able to sleep with one eye open watching his server load and he messaged me on Twitter. Of course, confident in my Drupal sites, I was fast asleep.
The next morning, we talked on the phone. The thing is, there had never been a problem. The server was chugging along just fine. I mean there were a lot of people visiting the site. And there were a lot of people commenting on one single post. When I talked to him there were about 19,000 comments. He was nervous, but Drupal was doing fine. Matt and I suggested some performance optimizations for the Drupal 5 site, but mostly things have been fine.
Jon continues to post updates on Twitter and he's been really impressed with Drupal. As of this writing, there are currently 29,589 comments on that one post. The contest ends today at 5:00pm MT. Last I heard the server load was in the heavy-but-reasonable range, but he's understandably nervous about a surge of entries near the end of the contest.
Want a Wii Fit? Go!