That’s the nice thing about the scalable servers: they can handle 48MB per second.
In preparation for the IAMA, we initially added 30 dedicated servers (20%~ increase) just for the comment thread. This turned out not to be enough, so we added another 30 dedicated servers to the mix. At peak, we were transferring 48 MB per second of reddit to the internet. This much traffic overwhelmed our load balancers which caused a lot of the slowness you probably experienced on reddit. This IAMA gave us a lot of information on what we need to do next not only to handle the next megathread on reddit, but also to make reddit faster in general. We’re going to redesign our load balancer system to be more flexible under this kind of load, and we’ve got a bunch of things we need to do to make our code more efficient for giant comment threads. Both of these improvements should make day-to-day reddit use faster as well.
Read the rest of the post, which opens with this.
Without any fanfare ahead of time, The President of the United States spent 30 minutes answering questions from anonymous users with no mediation on a website run by 20 people, and in a forum that was organically created by volunteers. Tens of thousands of people actively participated by voting and/or commenting and millions watched, and The President even broke some news in the Q & A (by suggesting a new amendment for the first time). Did it go perfectly smooth? Nope. Is this the absolute perfect format for politicians to answer questions? Nope. But it worked, and it was a big step, not just for reddit, but for online communities everywhere. No matter how you feel about the IAMA, reddit, the President, or politics in general, we hope that what took place this past Wednesday will inspire other online communities and start-ups, and encourage other politicians to seek out more ways to talk directly with their constituents. We thank the President and his team for making this happen.
It’s true that the AMA is one of the coolest emergent phenomena on the web.