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The server load indicator (seen at the top right of the page) is created from monitoring pages shown per second. It is calculated dynamically from the last few minutes of activity on the servers. Each block that is lit indicates 1/6th of what we consider to be maximum efficient load.
The figure in brackets indicates how many pages per minute we are currently printing.
If the 6 lit blocks are replaced by the word "overload," our server may not produce all pages correctly, or may have some difficulty. In that case, please visit later when the problem has been corrected.
The web part of DSLreports.com comprises several servers located at a data center in New Jersey (nac.net).
Data centers usually have multiple connections (peerings) to the Internet.
From time to time, problems (failures, network attacks, reconfiguration, etc) at the data center can cause browsing the site to become slow, or even stop completely. In an effort to detect this, we continually monitor our own connectivity to the Internet for any temporary packet loss, so we can show this statistic in the form of an icon on the home page.
This indicator seems to only display if you're using the vertical (site style) navigation, instead of the (default) horizontal navigation. (Is there any reason it couldn't just be positioned above the menuTABLE nav, which seems to be a generally empty space?)