Long, long time ago, before DevOps and autoscaling, there was a thing called The Slashdot Effect, when some webpages would go down, when they would have needed to handle all of the traffic, that came from Slashdot.org. With the increasing popularity of the cloud infrastructure, and by using various auto-scaling tools, this effect has been almost eliminated in the last decade, but it does not mean that is has gone completely. Due to various legal restrictions and, possibly stereotypes, a lot of government institutions still continue to oppose cloud and rely on their own hardware, that usually it not ready for massive traffic spikes, and today, due to civil protection siren test, we had a chance to re-live the good’ol days of the past, and see this effect in action.
At 15:00 a lot of people heard the sirens, and, for a lot of them, the first idea is to check the internet. One of the first results, that was available was from the State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia, that informed the public of such test, and as such, for a brief moment of time, instead of the webpage, a lot of users got a chance to see 500th error.