NEWS FROM THE LAB - Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's Inaugural DDoS Event Scheduled for 11:30 EST Posted by Sean @ 12:45 GMT

What is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) event?

It is different than a DDoS "attack". Some, such as Arbor Networks, have dubbed it "The Tiger Effect".

June 2008's U.S. Open Golf Championship 19-hole playoff resulted in massive traffic spikes from those seeking real-time scores and streaming video feeds.

DDoS events are a massive focus of interest that sometimes take place on the Internet. They are something that greatly exceeds normal demand, and the result is a Denial of Service effect. Web servers just can't meet demand when focus points occur and the timing is not so easily predicted.

And even though DDoS events lack malicious intent, the results can often be just as painful as an attack…

Here's a recent example from two weeks ago:
Shepard Fairey's Obama Poster
   North Carolina's unemployment rate is at its highest level in 25 years, and a deluge
   of out-of-work people has strained the state's jobless systems to the breaking point.
   State [websites] have crashed twice in the past month as people apply or renew
   their employment benefits.

Listen to the full story at NPR.

That brings us to today and Barack Obama's Inauguration as the President of the USA.

We expect that The Obama Effect may well dwarf that of Tiger Woods. Worldwide interest in Obama's inauguration is very high and live streaming Web video is more readily available than ever before.

There will be very interesting data produced today. And this time researchers should be ready to observe the effect.

US Mobile operators are also preparing for today's demand on their Washington D.C. networks.

Updated to add on January 22nd:

There was a peak in video traffic and a big dip in searches during the inauguration.

Arbor Networks — The Great Obama Traffic Flood
Google — Search Findings from the U.S. Presidential Inauguration