Following the attacks on 9/11, many online news Web sites faced an increased number of connections from people trying to know the latest development of events. This augmented traffic quickly brought nearly every news site down, and CNN.com was not immune.
On September 11, in approximately 15 minutes, CNN.com served over 132 million pages, nearly equaling the site’s all-time high. One of the biggest challenges faced by the response team was induced by cascading failures, so that increasing capacity alone was not sufficient to resurrect the site.
CNN Internet Technologies’ William LeFebvre was invited to LISA 2001 to give a talk about the effects of the 9/11 attacks on CNN’s Web site and the efforts the response team did to keep the site up and running.
Read a summary of LeFebvre’s talk at https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa-2001/cnncom-facing-world-crisis (Links to an external site.)
Then, using your knowledge of disaster recovery and business continuity, answer the following questions:
- What happened with CNN.com on September 11 2001?
- From a technical point of view, what were the reasons for the problem you described on the previous question?
- What did the CNN.com’s team do to minimize the impact of the problems?
- Was the disaster recovery and business continuity plan effective or were the reflexive responses from the team primarily responsible for the results?