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Subject: RE: UKNM: Ecommerce Xmas
From: Craig Pickup
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 22:18:56 GMT

Mario Tilney-Bassett wrote:

>I'm sure the designers could do some sort of funky clock that shows hours /
>minutes till re-opening...

The Mormon Church launched a site, http://www.familysearch.org, for
genealogical research back in May. When originally envisaged the site was
expected to get 1 million hits a day. During testing it was running at an
average of 7 million hits a day with peaks of 11 million. As a result they
planned to cater on launch for around 25 million hits a day with capacity
to handle up to 40 million.

When launched it actually attracted around 100 million hits a day during
its first week. This gave them immense problems handling the traffic. The
interim solution they came up with was a queuing system that displayed a
page explaining the position and advising at what time they would be able
to log in to the site. The waiting time was usually up to half an hour
maximum. It think the queuing was done on IP numbers or the like so that if
you were lucky and happened to try accessing when your IP range was due to
log on you got in immediately whereas if you were unlucky you had the full
half hour wait.

It is a system that found favour with the majority that were trying to
access the site. I have not seen this system used elsewhere but perhaps it
is a system that could be utilised for ecommerce sites that were struggling
to handle demand rather than just shutting everyone out.

Craig Pickup
Digitrade Ltd
17 Gateway Business Centre
210 Church Road
London, E10 7JQ

Tel: 020 8 988 9660 Fax: 020 8 988 9661

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