Reasons why the ICC web site went down just before the Ocampo6 Ruling

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Oooh don’t be fooled by the title, this is not about conspiracy theory as to why some cases were confirmed and others not. This is  purely technical stuff. ICC website was down most of yesterday prior to the ICC ruling. After trying it several times, I gave up and turned to the local TV stations which I had  come to hate because of how they have been talking about none existing tension in the country. Not being able to access a site is not a new thing, we have seen it many times with  but  again i have to give credit to Nation Media group, they are more prepared these days. I did not expect the ICC website to go down after having promised that they will post the ruling on their website on a specific day and even time.

So why was ICC caught off gourd?  Part of the answer lies with growth of the number of Kenyans online which many organizations  do not factor in their planning. Every mobile usage  report by CCK has shown a constant increase of number of Kenyans online. The latest report estimated internet users to be 14.3 million  from 12.53 million users in the previous quarter. Not all those people were online looking for the  live stream of ICC ruling  but substantial number of them were.  And when you add the Kenyans in the diaspora and other interested parties then you get to see why the site could not withstand the attention it was getting at the time.

Well that is one way of explaining it. On more technical bit  the quality of the  server connection to the Internet matters. In the ICC case and  many others, the server gets too many access request slowing down the speed until the point that it is not able to  serve the number of request for the pages.

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The web server like for example  gets connected to the   internal network of ISP via an ethernet adapter. The problem with this that adapters normally operate at certain standard maximum speeds, usually 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s, or 1Gb/s. The fact is the server is not able to transfer files of any kind in excess of this speed. And it should be noted that the  mentioned speed are the promised capacity and just like with modems the actual speed is lower than that by far. So if the server is operating at the speed of 10Mb/s then a fraction that bandwidth is available .

Most of the time when people are looking for hosting, they tend to ask about disk space without much concern about the bandwidth provided. High traffic web sites need high bandwidth to cope with the traffic.

Another factor which people should look at closely before settling on in a particular hosting company is the  Processor. To serve high-traffic web sites, the server has to contend with the demand that high traffic puts on the server’s internal resources. It is important that the general demand on the server is met by sufficient processor power and memory resources.



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