Cloudflare Waiting Room will help sites deal with demand

A graphic showing a waiting room

Cloudflare, the firm that helps sites protect against DDoS attacks, has announced a new product called Waiting Room. The idea behind the service is to protect appointment registration websites from being overwhelmed by high demand. In the future, the technology could be deployed on concert ticket websites but in the current climate, Cloudflare is offering it to governments and medical organisations.

With the pandemic making people sick and causing economic chaos, health and government websites are seeing increased usage as people try to access financial assistance, government guidelines about the virus and health advice. If government or health organisation get more demand than they can handle they can deploy Cloudflare’s Waiting Room with no need to change any code.

Cloudflare said that creating a new waiting room is really easy and takes just five steps to create. Institutions choose a name for the waiting room, check the hostname which is pre-populated, choose how many active users can be in the application at any given time, the number of users allowed into the application per minute and the number of minutes users are allowed to spend in the application.

With these controls, the waiting room can seamlessly switch on and off based on the demand the website sees, and by limiting session times it ensures that people can get fairly quick access to the content they’re waiting to access.

Anyone who finds themselves in a queue will be told they’re waiting in a queue due to high traffic on the website. The page automatically refreshes the estimated wait time and provides a timestamp of when the site was last updated. This information lets people know why there’s a delay and how long they’ll need to wait.

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