Latest Olympics tech update: Aussies choking, French stumbling, but the USA is kicking ass and taking names

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Image Credit: ShutterStock
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If you’re reading from down under, relax. Ditto to those swathed in red, white, and blue. No Olympic gold medals have been handed out yet. At least, not for long jump, shotput, or table tennis.

But when it comes to website availability and uptime under crushing Olympic-sized traffic, the race has already begun.

Compuware has been tracking the performance of the top 20 Olympic news sites in countries such as the U.S., UK, Germany, and China for several months. Now that the Olympics are on and the surge of traffic is hitting, some clear front runners have emerged.

“We’re measuring both uptime and availability,” Compuware product manager Lorenz Jakober told VentureBeat. “Then we compare it to the performance of the sites a month ago, which gives us a pretty good metric on what the differences are.”

And those Aussies are definitely feeling the heat. Websites in the basket of news agencies Compuware is tracking, such as ABCnews, 9News, news.com.au, are down between 10-20 percent compared to pre-Olympic traffic:

Above: Australian Olympic sites: red, like blood, is a bad sign

Image Credit: Compuware

For the U.S., measured properties would include sites like NBC.com, ESPN, and Fox Sports. And paradoxically, those sites are doing better than before the Olympics.

Above: US Olympic news sites: green is good

Image Credit: Compuware

“It’s funny actually,” Jacoba said. “Perhaps the Olympic fever hasn’t maybe hit us yet, with the time delay.”

Or perhaps server administrators have increased capacity prior to the Olympics. That’s exactly what the Bleacher Report was doing when I spoke to the company’s vice president of engineering a few weeks ago. That site is expecting to triple ordinary web traffic, and preemptively scaled up its database layer inside Amazon’s cloud. When it comes to serving web pages, the Bleacher Report can add 50 percent more capacity in just 30 minutes.

Perhaps the French should have done something similar:

Above: Fo the French, it’s a little comme ci, comme ça

Image Credit: Compuware

Image credits: Compuware, fstockfoto / Shutterstock.com


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