Olympic tickets sold on first come first NOT served basis

Note to self: Don't be daft! Remember the Olympic ticket sale fiasco when designing the next high-concurrency system.

What a disappointment. I've been dreaming about one day attending the Olympics, and when it was announced that the Olympics was coming to London, I was excited, at least because I expected that I would be able to attend some of it.

The first round of ticket sales have come and gone, and it's now old news that about 1.6m people applied and only 1/2 of them got any tickets. What was good about the first round, was that they did not create a huge peak load on ticket servers in their process.

However, the second chance ticket buying, was done on a first come first served bases. Except with the remaining 800 000 people all up at 6am armed with a VISA card and a list of the available events, the organisers (Locog) and VISA and Ticketmaster should have expected some spike in demand... but no.

It was not more a first come, first NOT served affair.

I know this is a tough technical problem:Knowing who you allocate a limited number of tickets too when the concurrency is this great. But one non-technical workaround, is to not book tickets when people click "buy", simply logging the request, and doing the buying later. I though that was what Locog planned for in this second round of sales, but apparently not, as I think the ticket availability changed during the process, and the servers still crashed. Also - my first "cart" was emptied at some point, so the architecture looks like it also had some sticky sessions to statefull servers.

Argggg - I guess I'm just moaning because I did not get any tickets. How frustrating!


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