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Re: Was it foreseen that the Internet might handle 242 Gbps of traffic for Oprah's Book Club webinars?

2008-03-08 16:45:20
yes. those that built the integrated services model felt that it was appropriate for internet telephony to have a way to test the capacity available for a real time data stream, and if capacity wasn't available, to say "no". Those who have worked in ieprep have pointed out that absent such a capability, in times when everyone is trying to use such services, there are some people and some services that by policy need to be enabled to have access anyway, and the system should be engineered accordingly.

Making the basic point that this particular crash so obviously illustrates has been very difficult in both the IETF and the operator communities. For the life of me, I don't understand why.

On Mar 7, 2008, at 12:11 PM, Dan York wrote:


Here's your Friday afternoon bit of humor - as you all who have been around for a while were designing this set of Tubes known as the Internet, did you imagine that someday it might be used for 242 Gbps of traffic related to 500,000 people joining a web collaboration session for... Oprah's Book Club?

If you aren't aware of what I'm talking about, Oprah is hosting 10 weekly (Monday night) web collaboration sessions to discuss Eckhart Tolle's new book "A New Earth". Over 750,000 people have signed up and this past Monday 500,000 tried to participate and basically crashed the system. I have some links to various posts about it here in my blog: oprah-tizat.html

The statement from her company, Harpo Productions, about the event is here: and I'll include this text:
Monday night's webcast was one of the largest single online events in the history of the Internet. More than 500,000 people simultaneously logged on to watch Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle live, resulting in 242 Gbps of information moving through the Internet. Unfortunately, some of our users experienced delays in viewing the webcast. We are working to identify the specific causes for the problems experienced and will work diligently to rectify them.

Harpo Productions, Inc., Move Networks and Limelight Networks recognize that interactive Internet broadcasting to a mass audience is still an emerging medium, and we're proud to have been pioneers in pushing the industry forward.

The plan is for the sessions to go on for the next 9 Monday nights. So on Monday night at 9pm Eastern US at IETF-71, if anyone wants to watch traffic patterns on the Internet, it might make for some interesting metrics... ;-)

See you in Philly,

Dan York, CISSP, Director of Emerging Communication Technology
Office of the CTO    Voxeo Corporation     dyork(_at_)voxeo(_dot_)com
Phone: +1-407-455-5859  Skype: danyork

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