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50%'s Server Response Time Falls, Along With The Snow

A lapsed server lease gives The Weather Channel the opportunity to cut response times.

Back when winter was still something to look forward to (or dread) for most of the nation, The Weather Channel was wrapping up an overhaul of its server technology to make its site swifter.

When the first major East Coast storm of the season hit Dec. 5, dropping eight inches of snow from the Carolinas to Maine, the site was ready. It beat the Keynote Business 40 Internet Performance Index for the day, says Dan Agronow, VP of technology for

(Keynote Systems Inc. sells Web measurement, testing, and management services.)

More than 5.2 million people visited that day, and the site served up more than 34 million page views. Its average response time was 1.31 seconds, less than the average 2.16 seconds for the home pages of the 40 U.S.-based sites measured by Keynote that day.

"We need to be available at all times," Agronow says. "In addition to those monitoring severe weather, there are other users that are interested in how they need to dress their children for school, or determine when they can schedule a golf or skiing activity."

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