When the nation turns its focus to the vice-presidential debate Thursday, Centre College will be ready to welcome thousands of people to its campus and millions of people through its virtual “front doors.”
With about 1,350 enrolled undergraduate students, Centre College is one of the smallest colleges to ever host a national debate. In the run-up to and on the day of the debate, the college expects to receive a huge amount of attention and resulting higher online traffic.
To prepare for this, Centre is using a service through AT&T called Synaptic Compute to host its website. The cellular company says the service will give the college simple, easy access to scalable cloud computing capacity to handle spikes in demand.
Also provided on campus is a Cell on Wheels and IP connectivity to keep visiting media, students and debate attendees connected on the day of the event.
“These days, people are so connected via the Internet, social networks, news feeds — you name it — that we expect this debate to spark conversation across the nation and throughout the world, not just at Centre College,” said Michael Strysick, director of communications at Centre College. “We know that our website is our front door. If we didn’t have a stable website to handle the anticipated traffic, we would be in trouble. It’s critical to make sure it stays available, even with increased web traffic ...”
Centre College previously hosted the vice-presidential debate in 2000 and expects its website to receive more than 3 million unique visitors during this year’s debate. The service is providing the college the advanced capability required to anticipate increased traffic and allocate resources as needed in a cloud-based environment. It also allows the college the flexibility to update the site at a moment’s notice with information critical to students, faculty and staff.
“The ability to make changes in real time to our website was an invaluable feature for us,” said Strysick.
Centre College’s website may be visited at centre.edu.