156 million hits, 750,000 unique users, a secure site – the 25th Finale of WOŚP


During this year’s Finale event organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, another record was broken for the amount of money collected to buy medical equipment. According to statistics prepared by Atman, data center market leader and one of the charity’s technological partners, records for online donations were also broken, thanks to the large numbers of Internet users visiting the foundation’s website.

To quote Atman’s Anna Ossowska: “Atman’s delivery of Internet connections with total bandwidth of 20 Gb/s to the Finale studio at the Palace of Culture and Science will surely come as no surprise to anyone who follows the organization of this gigantic undertaking every year. Our network infrastructure was also used by the main ICT coordinator for the Finale as the basis for the provision of its services – we provided it with bandwidth of 22 Gb/s. This means that during this year’s Finale we delivered a record-breaking total bandwidth of 42 Gb/s. Adding to this our data center as a physical ‘base’ for the devices used by the cloud servicing the Finale, we are proud of our somewhat behind-the-scenes contribution to the organizational success of the 25th Finale. We hope that our ‘Internet factory’ will continue to work uninterruptedly for the Orchestra for another 25 such events,” adds Anna Ossowska.

Apart from providing infrastructure, Atman also played a part in guaranteeing the availability of the foundation’s website in spite of the huge level of interest among Internet users (an excess number of concurrent visitors can bring down a site that is not suitably prepared), and in protecting it from cybercriminals. As the Polish partner of the American CloudFlare corporation, Atman helped the foundation select and configure the service needed to handle the increased traffic experienced during the Finale. The chosen solution proved extremely effective: statistics show that the CloudFlare service intercepted as many as 98% of queries, reducing the direct transfer of data to the charity’s server by almost 7 TB.

Safe visits without visiting

Throughout the Sunday the charity’s portal was visited by 725,000 users, with the peak coming at around 7 pm, when the site attracted almost 125,000 unique users, sending concurrently 15 million queries for the foundation website. The total number of hits on that day was 156 million, of which 152 million were handled by CloudFlare, a world-renowned solution offering CDN (Content Delivery Network) services combined with protection from cyberattacks (including DDoS). Its tasks were to identify any attempted attacks and render them harmless, to reduce the load on the charity’s server by significantly reducing the number of queries reaching it directly, and to speed up the loading of pages by users. CloudFlare did this by copying the static content of the site to servers on its own CDN network, and then intercepting queries to wosp.org.pl. If these queries could be handled by CloudFlare, the appropriate data packets were sent from its servers (this is the 7 TB of data mentioned above). At the same time CloudFlare analyzed whether incoming queries were malicious, and blocked any suspicious activity.

As Atman’s Anna Ossowska described it: “The cloud-based protective shield, as CloudFlare might be called, analyzes traffic in real time and identifies dangerous or atypical user behavior which might pose a potential threat. During the Finale the solution performed its task 100% – the charity’s website was kept fully secure and available to Internet users.”

Millions of foreign hits

The largest number of hits on the charity’s site (137 million) naturally came from Poland, but the events associated with the 25th Finale were also followed online by large numbers of users abroad. The portal was visited by 7.3 million Internet users in the U.K., 3.2. million in Germany, 1.4 million in the U.S., and 1.1 million in the Netherlands. This also shows that Polish emigrants are not cutting their links with their home country and continue to take an active interest in ongoing social events.

ATM S.A. is the WSE listed Polish data center market leader as well as an expert in security of data transmission and processing. Under the Atman brand the company provides colocation, hosting and cloud computing services in its data centers with 13,600 sq m (146,400 sq ft) of the total space. Using own international links and fiber-optic networks in the largest Polish cities, Atman offers broadband IP services including Internet access and data transmission. Major recipients of the services are telecommunications operators, traditional media, Internet portals, financial institutions, commercial and industrial companies. More information at atman.pl.