Goodbye, api-ssl-balancer

It is a bittersweet night here at StatHat as we have to say goodbye to one of our oldest, most hard-working friends: api-ssl-balancer.

api-ssl-balancer was born on March 18, 2011 at 10:47:00 AM UTC-5. It has been the endpoint for since the beginning. Every single data point on StatHat has gone through its gates: 9.76 trillion requests and counting.

In these days of cloud computing where servers are ephemeral and only up for a few hours or days, we don’t have relationships with our servers. They are no longer cleverly named after natural disasters or bivalve mollusks. But although it doesn’t have a fancy name, api-ssl-balancer has been around and unchanged for almost 7 years.

Through thick and thin, api-ssl-balancer has always worked. Over the years, several availability zones have gone dark, EBS stopped working for a day, EC2 instances failed to launch, even good old S3 was unavailable. But api-ssl-balancer, you’ve always been there, quietly sending HTTP requests along to our servers. You’ve been connected to all the availabilty zones: us-east-1a, b, c, d, e, and f. Countless servers in your autoscaling group have come and gone. When you were created, there was no HTTP/2 or SPDY. We couldn’t even point a root DNS record at you. You’ve been around so long that you are officially called “Classic”.

We know you understand. We need the new instance types. We need the enhanced network performance. HTTP/2 will be nice for our users (and hopefully our bandwidth).

So last night, we changed the DNS record for to point to a so-called application load balancer that supports HTTP/2 in front of a VPC network. But even after the TTL of 3600 seconds went by, api-ssl-balancer wouldn’t let go, or maybe its friendly clients couldn’t believe that after 7 years the name was pointing somewere else. 24 hours later and you still have 1,500 active connections and are handling 700,000 requests per minute. With heavy hearts we’re going to have to turn you off and force your clients to connect to your new sibling.

Goodbye, api-ssl-balancer…thank you for all the requests.

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