The Web Creaks as Jackson Fans Mourn
June 25th, 2009 By: Rich Miller
News sites and social media posting the earliest reports of the death of pop star Michael Jackson experienced availability problems as web users around the world sought to confirm the news and learn more. TechCrunch reports that TMZ.com, which was the first to report Jackson’s passing, was soon knocked offline. Twitter soon struggled to remain available as the volume of messages surged, and turned off search features in account profiles to help manage their server load.
As the news of Jackson’s death circulated, the traffic jam spread to more large news sites. Keynote Systems reported this evening that its monitoring showed performance problems for the web sites of ABC, AOL, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, SF Chronicle, and Yahoo! News. “Beginning at 5:30pm (EDT), the average speed for downloading news sites doubled from less than four seconds to almost nine seconds,” said Shawn White, Keynote’s director of external operations said. “During the same period, the average availability of sites on the index dropped from almost 100% to 86%. The index returned to normal by 9:15pm (EDT).”
Some technologists quickly seized upon those problems as making the case for cloud computing. “There is no longer any good reason for a professional website property to go down because of load,” wrote Reuven Cohen at Elastic Vapor. “Cloud computing provides an almost infinite supply of computing capacity, be it a infrastructure as a service or platform as a service or even a traditional CDN. Not have a cloud bursting strategy in the age of cloud computing isn’t just wrong – it’s idiotic.”
SearchEngineJournal examined how the major search engines fared in updating their indices to help guide searchers to the most relevant news. The verdict? “Is Google Search lagging in breaking news coverage? Indeed it is,” writes Loren Baker. “Microsoft BING however, has ABSOLUTELY FAILED in their coverage of the passing of Michael.”
JoePosted June 26th, 2009
It’s not just affecting news websites… weirdal.com takes over 10 minutes to load, and the only connection is a pair of parody songs written by Mr. Yankovic over 20 years ago.
[...] News sites and social media posting the earliest reports of the death of pop star Michael Jackson experienced availability problems as web users around the world sought to confirm the news . Read the rest here: Michael Jackson News Slows Web Sites « Data Center Knowledge [...]
[...] some data about the effect of Michael Jackson’s death on internet traffic: Keynote Systems reported this evening that its monitoring showed performance problems for the web [...]
obinna maduabuchukwuPosted June 26th, 2009
michael jackson was a very talented musician and an entertianer, he will be greatly missed by all lovers of pop music. i was rudely shocked by the news of his death. may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
[...] DataCenterKnowledge: Chart shows that “web creaks as Jackson fans mourn” — web site response time grows, av… [...]
JohnPosted June 26th, 2009
As someone who runs one of the sites mentioned, this does not reflect a problem with my hosts or network. None of my graphs shows any data to indicate that we are having problems. All indicators show that while we are getting traffic, its a big snooze for our hosts and internal networks.
It *is* possible that Keynote is picking up failure for certain Ad sites to deliver and then attributing that to the site as a whole, but the result is much different than what is suggested by the results. You would get a page, it would just not have the ads show up as fast.. I mean “boo-hoo”, right?
Given what I have read and what I know, I suspect this is a more global bandwidth issue at the peering points or on some backbones.
With that in mind, I think the cloud computing people are talking out of an orifice they shouldn’t be. Nothing I have seen suggests that “burstable” anything, except maybe backbone links, would have any effect on this. Bear in mind, all of these sites aren’t like 10 servers in someone’s basement, they are hundreds of servers in multiple data centers with CDN cached content and redundant links to Tier 1 network providers. I’m not sure what cloud computing would do that we have not already done in-house with our own assets.
SSBPosted June 26th, 2009
Average over multiple sites ABC, AOL, CBS, CNN Money, MSNBC, NBC, SF Chronicle, and Yahoo! News is not a good idea. Would suggest you to provide more information. It would be nice to get site wise data.
John: Thanks for the perspective. As you note, Keynote reflects network performance as well as site performance, and can be influenced by logjams in either area.
Interestingly, Akamai’s News Index shows a spike to 4.2 million visitors a minute – far less than all-time highs, and well below the traffic generated by the death of Anna Nicole Smith.
[...] one of the first to report the news, was knocked offline briefly after a flurry of traffic. Poor AOL saw its Instant Messenger service go down for around 40 minutes [...]
[...] attack and simply refused to serve up results. Some experts say that the massive spike shows where the weaknesses are in the internet’s infrastructure. addthis_url = [...]
[...] web as “collapsing.” Data Center Knowledge was less sensational, using the verb “creaks.” VentureBeat calls the event a “test” warning of the need to improve. Cloud [...]
[...] DataCenterKnowledge: Chart shows that “web creaks as Jackson fans mourn” web site response time grows, availa… [...]
[...] Data Center Knowledge offers a graphical representation of the slowing of news sites during the course of the cycle (thanks @skenniston for link). In a post entitled “The Web Creaks as Jackson Fans Mourn” it shows that the availability of news sites dropped dramatically as the news leaked out of Jackson’s demise. Some have said this is a perfect argument for a more cohesive cloud computing strategy. [...]
[...] how popular news and social networking websites coped with his passing, I would recommend reading this article. « Karl vs [...]
[...] Published July 2, 2009 Uncategorized Leave a Comment Interesting report appeared here on datacenterknowledge.com on June 25th for those ineterested in web traffic trends. It [...]
[...] Also, the increased traffic from web surfers looking for Jackson news nearly crushed some major news sites. [...]
[...] The MJ Factor 2009 August 10 tags: celebrity journalism, net neutrality, new media, social media, Web 2.0 by mediascapes3 When news of Michael Jackson’s death was rumored (and then later confirmed) by various celebrity sites like TMZ.com, blogs, and other news sites, network traffic exploded and in some instances knocked sites off-line. Keynote Systems charted the online news sites performance as avid fans tried to logon for news of … [...]
[...] how popular news and social networking websites coped with his passing, I would recommend reading this article Share and [...]
[...] anything new. It happens very often and all the times “something interesting” happens. Look at what happened when Michael Jackson passed away for [...]