Can cloud halt and solve China's railway ticketing woes?

Carol Ko

As the Chinese Spring Festival nears its end, some 7.41 million trips will be made on China's railways as millions of migrant workers and students swarm back to work and studies, coupled by families returning from reunions and travels.

This post-holiday travel rush is now building up the second peak of railway ticket purchase, soaring up web traffic requests , and potentially crashes the Chinese national railway ticketing system again as it did in January.

This year, the creation and subsequent fervor for plug-in browsers (See figure 2 on the next page) targeting at the Chinese Railways Ministry ticketing system brought both good and bad news: Good news for ticket buyers who were able to jump queue and speedily purchase tickets in as little time as "46 seconds" (asliebaothe plug-in browser claims in its website); and bad news for the Chinese Railways Ministry, whose ticketing system suffered from unprecedented traffic volume, which caused crashes on its shared-hosting network servers.

In light of this, is cloud computing adoption a sure way to ensure service availability for the Chinese national railway ticketing system?

In an interview withAsia Cloud Forum, Rackspace Asia Pacific's Interim Managing Director Mark Randall (pictured below) speculates what happens to China's national railway ticketing system during these peak travel periods, and how might retailers alike cope with seasonal spikes in web traffic by using cloud computing.

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