FlySafair Comes to the Rescue as Panyaza Lesufi Website Fails

Having succumbed to web failure of a volume-driven nature themselves, the low-cost local airline FlySafair offered the Gauteng Department of Education a helping hand, after it began to struggle with #admissions2017.

In April, Gauteng’s Department of Education was forced to suspend new scholar registrations on their website for next year’s intake, after the site was unable to cope with the unprecedentedly high traffic numbers.

Parents flocked to social media as a way to express increasing frustration with respect to completing registrations for the academic year. Panyaza Lesufi, the MEC for Gauteng’s education department, said that there would be further delay as a way to permit the department with a renewed deadline to have their system functioning appropriately.

Offer of Help

FlySafair, the low-cost airline, jumped in to offer support, as they themselves had previously experienced a similar challenge and had dealt with the matter in admirable fashion. They sent a letter extending a warm hand of help to Gauteng’s MEC of Education.

The letter read:

“As a company, we are passionate about the need for education in this country, and our IT teams are more than happy to make time available to consult with you if it would be helpful”.

FlySafair Have Been There, Too

Back in August of 2015, FlySafair held a flash sale whereby they offered as many as 30,000 flights at a price tag of only R1, inclusive of airport taxes. FlySafair vice president of sales and distribution, Kirby Gordon, claimed that the response to the bargain basement sale proved to be entirely overwhelming. In spite of their best planning efforts, their website was not able to deal with the mass traffic influx.

However, the airline still managed to get their site resurrected, after which, they extended the initial single-day sale to an additional day to ensure that all the tickets would be sold.

And that experience taught the company a lot, and they have, ever since, been heavily investing in their website so that nothing of a similar nature occurs again. After all, they want to be fully prepared for a further big sale in the future. And the company are hinting towards a forthcoming R2 ticket sale which will likely occur sometime this year.

What Can Gauteng’s Education Department Do?

FlySafair say that there are two relatively quick-fire strategies that the department can implement as a way to deal with the excessive amounts of web traffic.

As they explained, even if the load on the site doesn’t, in fact, cause the site to crash completely, the sheer number of requests being made to link up people’s home addresses to schools in the locality could prove to be overwhelming in terms of the surge on the servers. That then could result in the same odd matches that parents have been experiencing with the system as it is now.

1. Rely on the Cloud

A further way to scale the education department’s service in an effective way is to relocate the service from its current server-based mode over to a cloud-based platform. If a system is reliant upon a specified server stack, the processing capacity that is available to a website is always going to remain finite in relation to the capability of the server. With a cloud-based solution, it spreads the processing load over a variety of servers, thus reducing any potential for a website crash.

2. Establish a Waiting Room

Otherwise, something else that can be implemented is to place a limit on the number of people who are utilizing the service at any single time. And the optimal way to accomplish that is to generate a “waiting room”. This same scenario is what ticketing websites use to deal with mass traffic influxes when tickets are first released for big concerts. What it entails is to essentially develop a “holding pen” which feeds traffic through to the site at a rate that is manageable.