Here’s how you can find out about bus cancellations when the web site goes down

Here’s a memo that went out to senior staff at local schools from the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA). OSTA’s web site went down on Wednesday morning, when school buses were cancelled due to freezing rain.


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1 thought on “Here’s how you can find out about bus cancellations when the web site goes down”

  1. Serving a city full of people through a single server using Microsoft asp/iis. Of course a rookie setup like that goes down when the masses hit it.
    I’m not seeing proper caching and load balancing.
    The city’s community center website faces the same problem. When the activity programs become available for signing up, everyone wants to sign up at once, and the site overloads and people can’t sign up. The next day it’s too late to sign up, because the programs are filled up by then.

    In the case of the ottawa school bus site, which is a non-interactive information site, it should be very simple. Simply have a system copy updated content every minute or so to a collection of servers which low cost virtual dedicated servers (at like $15 a pop). Then make the front page of the site redirect to one of the cached servers, like www1.ottawaschoolbus.ca, www2.ottawaschoolbus.ca, etc.
    Then keep adding ($15 / month) cache servers until it no longer overloads. Technology wise, this should be rather simple.

    But of course, just purchasing a Microsoft server on a PC, and then simply letting the internets at it, is going to break.

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