As I noted previously, the Red Cross‘s site, and their donation host, Convio, had trouble handling the flood of attempts to help. Since then they have redesigned their web site to put more relevant information on the front page. Though this has increased the number of HTTP requests necessary to load the page, visitors can now link deeper into the site once there. They are also using Akamai, but whether that was after-the-fact or not, I don’t know: Convio isn’t, and that’s where I would hope to see most of the load.
What has alleviated the load on Convio is the contribution of scale from Apple, Amazon, Yahoo!, and others. PayPal is doing the same with the UnitedWay. However, you might expect that scalability would be one of the concerns raised in planning their on-line fund-raising.
On the client-side, SBC, in concert with Cingular, is providing telecommunications services, including access to the Internet, for the refugees. Once those refugees find Internet access, they can find shelter through MoveOn’s HurricaneHousing.org clearinghouse.
Meanwhile, Cingular Wireless has the following helpful advice while they work to restore service along the Gulf coast.
Throughout the affected areas, network congestion may be an issue and the company encourages customers to keep non-emergency calls to a minimum and to use text messaging as an alternate means of communications. [link added]