Delivering a 5,000-page government report to 2.4m people without the website crashing

The web hosting and content delivery work we undertake at Tibus is mainly about staying in the background: being an unnoticed but efficient presence, ensuring the website and its content can be accessed by those who need to access it without them ever giving much thought to how they were able to access it.

Posted on 29 December 2014 - Hosting
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Despite the understated and un-flashy nature of our work, we do sometimes find ourselves in the thick of things. Rarely has this been more true than when we were tasked by the Northern Ireland Office to deliver the Saville Report into the events of Bloody Sunday 1972.

Of course, working alongside a government department - especially on such a sensitive issue - meant that our usual traits of trustworthiness, efficiency and subtlety were not only vital to the project but what had led to us being entrusted with the work in the first place.

In that respect it was business as usual, but it happened to be in the context of one of the biggest news stories of 2010.

Publishing the report

We were instructed to make the final report live on the website at 3.41pm on 15 June. Between then and 9am the following morning, there were 2.4 million requests to access the 5,000-page report.

Despite the huge, unprecedented demand, the inquiry website coped and the report was delivered successfully and without favour to the millions of people eager to access it as soon as possible after publication.

Given that the websites of other large inquiries, such as those into Swine Flu, Harold Shipman and the Hatfield Rail Crash, collapsed despite assurances given to the government departments in question, the NIO was delighted with the outcome.

Read more about the background, brief and methodology of our work on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.