1901 CENSUS UPDATE FROM PRO SITE
- About the 1901 Census website
As has been widely reported, overwhelming public interest in the 1901
Census Online service resulted in sustained levels of hits which
exceeded capacity by a factor of 20 during the first days of
operations. Based on carefully benchmarked market research of similar
genealogical sites, the site was actually specified to be able to cope
with a sustained 1 million visitors a day, with a peak of 1.2 million
averaged over 24 hours. Behind the 1901 Census website front end
web-servers is a very large searchable database and eCommerce elements
which, given time and cost, could be scaled up to meet the
exceptionally high levels of demand seen during the first days of
operation. The PRO and QinetiQ are keen to enhance the site, but will
not be able to increase capacity so dramatically as to cope with the
levels of demand seen before. The investment required would be
prohibitive and would result in unreasonable charges to the public for
the paid services.
The following enhancements are being made to Census Online:
Increased ISP bandwidth
Additional firewalls within the ISP, both to protect the 1901 site and
also to avoid impact on other sites hosted by the ISP
Improved handling of traffic to divert overloads.
Additional database server to enable more concurrent searches
Having reviewed the work required to implement the enhancements to the
site, PRO and QinetiQ have agreed to wait until all the work has been
completed in full before re-opening access to the databases. All this
takes time, but we are working hard to bring the site up in a
controlled manner over the next couple of weeks. This will mean that
many users will not be able to access the site immediately the
technical changes are in place. Even with these improvements, the site
will not be able to service the levels of demand encountered on the
first few days, and we ask users to continue to be patient. What we
are most keen to ensure is that those users who access the site and
are engaged in paid sessions are able to conclude their research.
Meanwhile, in addition to electronic access at PRO Kew; at the FRC and
at a number of other Service Centres, 1901 Census microform services
continue to be available at PRO Kew and local record offices and
public libraries across the country. The PRO website www.pro.gov.uk
will provide details of Service Centres as they become available.
We understand the frustration and disappointment experienced by many
users and are resolved to provide normal services as soon as possible.
We are grateful for the patience you have already shown.
GENEALOGY CONSULTANT, AUTHOR & ADOPTION SPECIALIST
DIP.FHS, ACCREDITED GENEALOGIST GSU (ENG & AUST)
PO BOX 937,
HERVEY BAY QLD 4655 AUSTRALIA
TEL: 0741 284458 OR INT +61+741+28 4458
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