Vatican Site Performed Well For Pope's Funeral - InformationWeek

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Vatican Site Performed Well For Pope's Funeral

Following a meltdown last week, the Vatican's Web site on Friday performed well during the funeral for Pope John Paul II, providing live Web coverage to the faithful worldwide.

Following a meltdown last week, the Vatican's website on Friday performed well during the funeral for Pope John Paul II, providing live web coverage to the faithful worldwide.

During the morning funeral, response time for the site dipped a bit to a second and a half from a half second, Netcraft Ltd. a England-based web metrics vendor, said. However, the company also did not see a big spike in traffic.

"For most people, the funeral was a TV event, not a web event," Netcraft analyst Rich Miller said.

Indeed, that wasn't the case last week when the pope's health took a dramatic turn for the worse, and the Vatican issued a statement late Thursday night March 31, saying his health was "very grave." Around that time, enough of the 1 billion Catholics worldwide went to the Vatican's site for updates to bring the site down.

"The number of people trying to reach the website was enough that it went from performing well to being offline very quickly," Miller said.

The site, which gets about 22 million unique visitors a year, was offline nearly all day April 1, Miller said. Before the Vatican statement, the site had a response time of about a quarter of a second.

During the downtime, the Vatican apparently switched its system to Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris 9 operating system running an Apache 1.3.31 web server, Miller said. On March 31, before the apparent meltdown, the site ran on Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Tru-64 Unix system with Apache 1.3.27.

Staring Tuesday, April 2, up until the funeral, the site's response time was about a half a second.

"Since Tuesday, the performance of the site has been quite good, and during the funeral, performance was quite consistent," Miller said. "The site was online and available throughout the funeral."

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