September 30, 2008 |
We have already started to see various examples of tech companies experiencing the negative effects of the financial crisis we are now in. But it looks like the economic turmoil will not only damage stocks of tech companies but will also affect damage some servers as well. Today’s example is the website of the House of Representatives that was hit on Monday with incredible traffic of millions of people eagerly trying to find out the decision on $700 billion bailout. The load on the website from visitors rushing to the site trying to find out the information on the bailout bill was similar to what the website experienced in 2004 when the 9-11 commission report was published.
After the House declined the bill intended to provide emergency rescue to the economy, it is no wonder that millions of people rushed to the website looking for additional information or trying to email their representatives. The website features a functionality for every citizen to be able to email a representative with a question or comment and this functionality seems to have become the main reason for the problem of the website: people emailed their representatives first to try and find out the decision on the bill and then to express some reaction (probably disappointment mostly) once the decision was there. It would have been interesting to know at least some estimated number of emails processed by the servers on Monday but one thing I am sure of: it must have been a tough job.
Anyway the servers seemed to be strong enough to withstand the traffic and only some of the visitors could not access the site on Monday while the majority simply experienced very slow browsing. I myself am no regular visitor to this particular website so I can hardly tell the difference but the speed was extremely slow for me when I tried to access it at the time of writing (Tuesday morning, 5.30 a.m. Eastern time) so I believe the problem has not been fixed completely yet.
IT personnel of the House stayed all night working trying to keep the site up and running until the traffic slows down. I actually think that many administrators must have a hard time these days trying to keep websites related to financial news up and running and this obviously is not the end.