Update: Google has extended Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) by one more day due to “overwhelming demand”, however we also believe it was because the website was down through the first day. It also needs be pointed out that ad rates for the term GOSF is very high now and all e-commerce sites seem to be buying slots for that keyword.
Dec 11: The GOSF website was created and maintained by GroupFMG which has not yet responded to our questions on issues that were plaguing the website. It’s not clear what exactly went wrong because of which the website was unusable through out the day yesterday. Many people on Twitter blamed OSSCube for the failure, as it’s name was shown with a Hello World message for a few hours yesterday on gosf.in. The company however said that it was not involved in building GOSF or any of its components. “The service provider that built the website has a contract with us to support a specific service which was not responsible/involved in the crash. However since then, the service provider has reached out to us to help restore/recover the site and we are supporting them in the process,” Vineet Agrawal, Director for Alliance & Relations at OSSCube told Medianama.
— OSSCube (@OSSCube) December 12, 2013
Note: OSSCube has deleted the above tweet.
— OSSCube (@OSSCube) December 11, 2013
Earlier: Dec 11, 2013 9:30pm: The site is working now.
Dec 11, 2013 5:30pm: The site is still down and all it shows is a ‘Hello World!’ message.
Google has been struggling to keep Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) website up and running since the sale started last night. To begin with, the site gave ‘500 internal server error’ message which was soon replaced by bugs in the countdown ticker which indicated that the sale ended two days back. Today morning the site is down again, possibly due to hundreds of thousands of Indians who woke up and decided to check out what the big deal was. Speaking of deals, there are a few good ones, but considering the state of the GOSF website, you’ll be better off visiting all your favourite e-commerce sites to look for deals manually. (pro tip: eBay and Croma have some interesting deals for electronics).
We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to shoppers on gosf.in. We are working on resolving these technical issues. #GOSF
— Google India (@googleindia) December 11, 2013
UPDATE: this is what the site looked like at 11:30am
The sad part is Google knew what to expect this year in terms of volume, considering the amount of visitors they got last time around.
It is not clear at this point exactly how many people visited the website simultaneously to bring it down. The GOSF site was running on a drupal installation set up in Google App Engine, which touts scalability as one of its advantages. It needs to be pointed out that Google introduced PHP support (needed to run Drupal) only earlier this year and it is not clear if the whole service was hosted in App Engine or just the database.
Some people had some very colorful theories on why Google was struggling to keep the site up
However, I believe that Google is the one creating a DDoS aka Distributed Denial of Shopping.
The biggest disappointment however, was this:
The biggest tragedy of #GOSF is Google is not selling any app or device at discounted price
— NT Balanarayan (@chupchap) December 10, 2013