Sites crash under World Cup strain

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Sites crash under World Cup strain

ITV’s website crashed yesterday as millions went online to watch Mexico play South Africa in the first World Cup match of the 2010 tournament, highlighting the need for firms to invest more in back end infrastructure.

The site was temporarily down and users experienced poor quality pictures as screens temporarily froze at frequent intervals during the match.

Nick Barron of hosting firm Carrenza argued that firms frequently forget to invest in the architecture that will allow their infrastructure to scale to meet surges in demand.

“Although this is extremely unfortunate for football fans, ITV has joined a long list of distinguished names that have experienced technical glitches when their websites have proved successful and resulted in huge surges in traffic,” he said.

“Today’s problems highlight how important it is for companies to ensure that their websites are designed, from the beginning, with the architecture capable of meeting high demand.”

The twittersphere was quick to criticise ITV. One user, ‘uponnothing’ wrote: “ITV web streaming football is a huge fail. They'll pay millions for Adrian Chiles but much less on decent web servers.”

Another, Andrew Wilmot, wrote: “Was afraid this might happen. Both tvcatchup.com and ITV completely failing under the load of the first World Cup match.”

However Mike Hellers, senior network architect at Interoute, owner operator of Europe’s largest fibre optic network , played down the glitches.

“If you look at the core of the internet that connects Europe to Africa, there hasn’t been any major traffic peak. Nor, has there been a significant increase of traffic that passes through the public exchanges that facilitate internet traffic between the continents,” he argued.

“It might be that the connection to houses that get a little clogged. But, obviously this can be different within broadband networks, where capacity bottlenecks might exist.”

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