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Netscape Says Server Can Handle House Report's Heavy Load

With the U.S. House of Representatives ready to publish Kenneth Starr’s report to the House Judiciary Committee on the Web, computing personnel at the House are under time-sensitive pressure to not only get the expected 445-page report online, but make it available to the millions of hits it will undoubtedly receive.

The House and Judiciary Committee sites are run on a Netscape Web server and operated on the Unix platform.

For now, at least Netscape Communications Corp. says their product is ready. "We have a contract with the Department of the Defense, one of the largest traveled sites in the world, and our home site is the second most traveled site in the world," says Raj Gossain, Group Product Manager for Netscape's Enterprise Server. "I don’t anticipate the server will be a problem."

Gossain further commented that the bottleneck choke points would be where users connect, such as ISPs.

But Jim Slaby, a senior analyst for the GIGA Information Group Inc., says a much more likely choke point would be between the server and the Internet. "If you think about it, it's a pretty small message being sent -- I heard 4MB -- but the problem occurs when everyone hits the server at once," Slaby says.

He also commented that the situation could get worse if an ISP backbone suddenly erupts as well. He says, "The server would have problems long before the bandwidth would fill up."

The report is expected to first be placed on the Library of Congress’ Web site (http://thomas.loc.gov/icreport) somewhere between 2 and 4 p.m. today. To lighten the load on the server, there will be plenty of mirror sites, both public and private. Public mirrors include:

- Committee on the Judiciary: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/icreport

- House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/icreport

- The Government Printing Office: http://access.gpo.gov/congress/icreport

Sources at the Capitol say they will also be publishing an intranet edition so congressional representatives can receive quick and easy access to the documents. -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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