Concurrent Connections vs Visitors


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  • Applies to: All Service Types
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time: 10
    • Tools needed: N/A

Overview

When accessing your websites capabilities and resources, two important terms you may want to become familiar with are "concurrent connection" and "visitor." By definition they are the following:

  • Concurrent Connection: The maximum amount of simultaneous connections your server can handle.
  • Visitors: Someone who goes to your website.

But what does that really mean? How does this apply to me and my websites? The article below will help illustrate how the relationship between a concurrent connection and visitor can look in regards to your server.

For example:

When a visitor goes into a browser and tries to load your site, they become a concurrent connection. This occurs because a connection is required for the server to send your website data over to the visitor. Once the page finishes loading, the connection is dropped. The visitor can continue to view your webpage, and during this time they are not taking up a concurrent connection slot. However, once the visitor decides to clicks on a link, play a video, or some other activity that requires a connection, they will then become a concurrent connection again.

So what does this mean?

This means that you can generally have a large number of visitors viewing your website (much larger than your concurrent connection capacity), as long as they don't all make connections at the same time.

Here's a "real world" example which might help illustrate this relationship:

Let's suppose you invite some friends over to play a board game.

The board game has a limit of how many people can be actively playing the game at one time (this is your concurrent connections). But, you can have plenty more people who can passively watch the game (these are your visitors).

When a person is done playing the game, they stand up, and can begin watching the game passively. This frees up a space so now a new person can sit down and actively play the game.

This overall illustrates how the maximum number of concurrent connections differs from your visitor limitation. However, when your site is optimally build, the concurrent connections are typically fast and efficient. So the exchange of active connections and passive visitors is constantly changing.

Are there any problems that can occur with concurrent connections?

Outdated CMS, plugins, themes, or non-optimized code can result in longer concurrent connection times. This could also result in connections not being dropped after a visitor is finished. This can essentially trick your server into thinking someone is trying to make a concurrent connection, when in reality it should have been dropped. Below are some articles which may assist you in addressing slowness and/or diagnosing database problems that can affect your concurrent connections:

Each Media Temple server type has a different concurrent connection capacity. If you anticipate a large number of concurrent connections to your website, you may want to consider adding a Grid Container, or moving to a VPS server to increase your concurrent connections capacity. If you'd like to view your server's concurrent connection capacity, or wish to see the different options for increasing your capacity, feel free to view the article below: