May 03, 2002
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Well, today we finally switched hosting companies to handle our PDF downloads because the last host, although highly recommended by other online publishers, couldn't cope when we ran a free PDF offer and hundreds of people all tried to download their PDF at the same time. (You'll recall I wrote about this last week.)
I learned something critical; seems that many hosting companies limit the number of downloads that can be going on at the same time as a security measure in case they are targeted for a denial of service attack. So although our new hosting company has a great fat pipeline and we get a guaranteed % of server space (instead of being shoved into a server with a zillion other sites already running on it), we still wouldn't be able to handle it if 100s of people want to download a PDF at the exact same time.
We've now set up lines of communication with the techies on their end. 24 hours before we launch any marketing campaign that might cause system overloads, we email them a warning to "flip the switch" and allow us more downloads for a limited time. Then they flip the switch back for security's sake. I guess the free-and-easy life of popping out marketing campaigns on a whim is over.