Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Strains The Web

For viewers, the rewards were obvious. But for IT, the Victoria's Secret lingerie fashion show, Webcast on Thursday from Cannes, France, was one heck of a challenge--and the resulting traffic jam on the Internet left some fashion fans out in the cold.

Intimate Brands, owner of the lingerie shops, pulled together a team of A-list vendors to keep access open to the Victoria's Secret Web site ( IBM Global Services hosted the site in a new, dedicated facility; Yahoo Broadcast handled the streaming media; and Microsoft hosted the transaction element. Intimate Brands also collocated streaming-media servers on several Internet backbones to sop up excess traffic, says Timothy Plzak, director of advanced technology for Intimate Brands.

Many users were unable to log on to the event, but organizers say about 2 million got through. Says Plzak: "From the tech perspective, we view this as a success; we met our architected goals." The 55-minute event cost Victoria's Secret $9 million.

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