Hillary Clinton's Site Plagued by Outages

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Sen. Hillary Clinton’s web site has been offline for more than 29 hours over the past seven weeks, while campaign sites for Democratic rival Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have performed flawlessly, according to an analysis from Pingdom.

A Netcraft query finds that HillaryClinton.com is hosted by “Paul Holcomb” apparently on a dedicated server at Rackspace, and is running on Windows Server 2003. BarackObama.com uses the Linux-driven Panther Express content delivery network to support its site, which is hosted on FreeBSD/Apache at Pair Networks. McCain’s site is hosted by SmarTech, which has a long history of working with GOP web sites. SmarTech hosted GeorgeWBush.com in 2004, when the site made news by blocking access to web users outside the United States and Canada in the final days of the 2004 election campaign. JohnMcCain.com also uses Windows Server 2003.

Most of the downtime on Clinton’s web site occurred between March 20-23, shortly after the US National Archives released the 11,000 pages of records from Clinton’s time as a first lady. Pingdom says nearly 40 percent of all requests to Clinton’s site failed during this period.


SpocialMedia.biz profiled the hosting platform choices of all the presidential candidates earlier this year, while the Yahoo developer team graded the candidates’ web sites using the YSlow tool, which will be familiar to many site performance junkies and is available as a Firefox plugin.

Hosting uptime became a contentious issue in Connecticut’s primary election in 2006 when the campaign web site for Sen. Joseph Lieberman was completely unavailable on election day. Lieberman, the Democrats’ 2000 vice presidential candidate, was defeated by challenger Ned Lamont. Afterward, Lieberman’s campaign manager blamed the Lamont camp for the outage, alleging “coordinated efforts to disable our Web site.”

This week it was learned that Lieberman’s own web team was responsible for the outage. “In short, the server that hosted the joe2006.com website failed because it was over utilised and misconfigured,” reports an October 2006 email contained in FBI documents obtained this week by AP. “There was no evidence of (an) attack.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.