It is found that Ministry of Public Safety and Security’s (MPSS) homepage is designed more than 70 times heavier than Japan Meteorological Agency’s (JMA) homepage and that time it takes to connect to homepage is also 10 times longer. This is all because this department has fallen as an advertising window rather than a department that provides information about national disasters.
Although MPSS increased processing speed of its homepage up to 80 times after suffering an obstacle from first earthquake on the 12th, it went down again from aftershocks on the 19th. While MPSS has not found a main reason yet, web developers are pointing to heavy images and videos that are on MPSS’s homepage as possible causes. They are criticizing the fact that homepage is not set up to deliver suitable information to people when they connect to MPSS’s homepage in an emergency situation.
Major goal of South Korean Government’s ministries including MPSS is to provide regular services through their homepages without any crashes by lowering heavy loads through distributed processing.
Global service called ‘webpage test (webpagetest.org)’ was carried out to check MPSS’s homepage’s performance.
From results from this webpage, 14MB of contents need to be downloaded to see the first screen of MPSS’s homepage. Capacity of JMA’s homepage’s first page is 187KB and it is able to quickly deliver information since it is 76th times lighter than MPSS’s homepage. Capacity of FEMA’s (Federal Emergency Management Agency) homepage’s first page is 350KB.
Due to this difference in capacity, there was also big difference in time that takes to load first page of a homepage. It took 27 seconds and 2.4 seconds to load MPSS’s homepage and JMA’s homepage respectively while it took 19.9 seconds to load first page of KMA’s (Korea Meteorological Agency) homepage. Although contents that needed to be download were less than MPSS’s homepage, total capacity was still huge at 1,069KB that is 5.7 times bigger than JMA’s homepage.
Including MPSS’s homepage, KMA’s homepage does not use CDN (Contents Delivery Network). On the other hand, JMA and FEMA use CDN. CDN is a system that delivers data that is saved within separated servers in order to efficiently deliver contents to PCs within internet. It prevents a bottleneck phenomenon that lowers speed of transmission of data when there are many users trying to connect at the same time.
After earthquake happened on the 19th, MPSS’s homepage froze up as 51,800 people tried to connect at the same time. Although MPSS took action on the 12th, it was useless. Because there are unnecessary images other than information regarding disasters on MPSS’s homepage, a bottleneck phenomenon happened when MPSS was trying to take care of those images.
“The biggest problem is that 14MB of data needs to be downloaded in order to look at the first screen of MPSS’s homepage.” said a developer. “If number of servers, which are for webpage, is increased, then its homepage will be down again.” This developer also added by saying that it is useless to increase performance of a server by more than 100 times without organizing a webpage itself and that it is important to establish many database and web servers with low specifications and to carry out distributed processing.
MPSS’s homepage rose as a topic during National Assembly’s safety administration committee that was called up on the 21st. “While MPSS’s homepage is mostly filled with images, videos, and advertisements, Japanese Government’s homepage is mostly filled with texts.” said committee Kim Young-ho of The Minjoo Party of Korea.
MPSS and Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs’ National Computing & Information Service have yet to find an exact reason even though it has been two days since an obstacle.
“We have started an accurate diagnosis to determine whether it is hardware problem or program problem.” said Minister Hong Yoon-shik of Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs. “We are going to try to finish analyzing possible causes by end of this year and carry out appropriate actions.” Regarding possible solutions, he added by saying that it is looking at a method that will establish MPSS servers that are independent within National Computing & Information Service.
As a short-term solution, MPSS and National Computing & Information Service are also looking at a way that will have MPSS’s homepage focus on providing necessary information during disasters so that it is more lightly loaded with contents.
Staff Reporter Kim, Insoon | firstname.lastname@example.org & Staff Reporter Lee, Hojun | email@example.com
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