U.S. Census Bureau

Akamai's Cloud Solution for U.S. Census Bureau

“That was a huge concern for us that in the height of the decennial activity if we were a target of a DDoS attack or the site would go down or the performance would go down that it would reflect negatively on the Census Bureau and deter citizens from participating,” McGrath says. “Using the CDN was a huge positive lesson. I don’t know if it could have gone any better.”

Brian McGrath , CIO , U.S. Census Bureau

The Situation

The U.S. Census Bureau counts every resident in the United States every ten years as mandated by the Constitution. On January 4, 2010, at The Today Show, the U.S. Census Bureau’ Once-A-Decade Ceremony launched from New York City’s Rockefeller Center, and featured an 18-wheeler truck to kick off their cross-country road tour. With the media attention, and a media rich site targeted towards 300 million people, Census expected a significant increase in traffic on the 2010 site. Census also released their TV Commercial during the Super Bowl that was expected to drive Internet traffic towards the site. Census was faced with the decision of building out their own infrastructure to support unknown traffic levels, or leveraging a cloud services provider, such as Akamai, to provide scalability for Internet traffic spikes, significant offload, cloud security and web performance benefits.

The Challenge

The Census Bureau leveraged Akamai’s cloud services to handle their traffic spikes during the Census 2010 campaign. While providing on-demand scalability to handle the surge in Internet traffic, Akamai also provided significant web performance improvements and offloaded over 95% of the hits from the Census Data Center.

The Goal

The following highlights the Akamai cloud services leveraged by the Census:

  • Handle Internet traffic spikes for Census 2010
  • Acceleration of Census 2010 Site
  • Security and Availability of Census 2010

Why Akamai

“For our new website, we went to the cloud,” McGrath says. “We went with an infrastructure-as- a-service solution, and what a great experience that was. We contracted with Akamai to use their CDN…At the peak of our usage, we were servicing somewhere around 85% of our content from the edge, and it was not even coming back to our infrastructure.” McGrath said using the Akamai content delivery network provided a better-quality web experience to citizens for less money than building their own network. Akamai also provided a barrier against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

About Akamai

Akamai secures and delivers digital experiences for the world’s largest companies. Akamai’s intelligent edge platform surrounds everything, from the enterprise to the cloud, so customers and their businesses can be fast, smart, and secure. Top brands globally rely on Akamai to help them realize competitive advantage through agile solutions that extend the power of their multi-cloud architectures. Akamai keeps decisions, apps and experiences closer to users than anyone — and attacks and threats far away. Akamai’s portfolio of edge security, web and mobile performance, enterprise access and video delivery solutions is supported by unmatched customer service, analytics and 24/7/365 monitoring. To learn why the world’s top brands trust Akamai, visit www.akamai.com, blogs.akamai.com, or @Akamai on Twitter. You can find our global contact information at www.akamai.com/locations.