Over half of million people visited Malaysiakini on election night last Saturday as the results were announced.

The traffic was so high at 11pm, that the ‘Malaysiakini.com’ domain was blocked by the company in United States which hosts the website’s domain name.

“We were well prepared for the anticipated traffic despite that Malaysiakini was made free. We put in additional servers, stripped down our page to make it lighter and faster to download and we have six mirror sites in place,” said the online website editor-in-chief Steven Gan.

“What we did not foresee was that the domain‑name server which is in charge of directing traffic to our Malaysiakini servers had an automatic shutdown system when it detects extremely high traffic.

“This automatic trigger is to stop an attack on their server ‑ and here again, we cannot be certain whether it was indeed an attack or simply phenomenal traffic.”

According to Gan, domain name server’s task is to serve as a ‘post office’.

“Put simply, the ‘post office’ suddenly received tons of mail addressed to Malaysiakini which they considered junk mail, and they decided not to deliver them.”

Malaysiakini was quick to redirect traffic through another address.

“We were the only news organisation giving up-to-the-minute results on the elections. Not surprisingly, traffic grew to over 500,000 users an hour – at which time the domain name server (DNS) failed.

“We apologise for the breakdown,” said Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran. “The DNS is hosted in the US and we were unable to contact them to recover the domain name for a number of hours,” he added.

“However, bloggers and readers did a great job in passing the word that the site was still available via the public IP address. “We really appreciate the support we got from the blogosphere,” said Pr

Source : Malaysiakini

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