All of us that work on server products have weathered storms where our services had to endure a wave of traffic. The wave could be caused by any number of things – time of day, a particular press release, or a new product launch. Generally, you plan these events very carefully to make sure that engineers and operations staff are on hand when the Wave hits.
Now, imagine you work at Apple. You know your wave is coming. When? Christmas Day, of course. Yikes! Hard to change that. Some are reporting Apple’s traffic spike at a 1000% increase over the prior week – causing the site to go down. Imagine you are the poor Director of Server Engineering there, and responsible for keeping the site up? So much for Santa Claus – you have to go to work!
I know, it’s hard to feel sorry for the successful. But for some reason, I feel for them on this one. Of course, you might feel more sorry for the millions of people that tried to use the iTunes site on Christmas Day.