35,000 people try to login to Singapore immigration website • The Register
A website operated by Singapore’s border control agency, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), went down for five hours almost as soon as overseas travel registrations were offered to stranded expats in the city-state for over 18 months.
Singapore currently operates “vaccinated travel lanes” (VTL) which allow citizens and permanent residents to travel to certain destinations. But residents with other visas must apply to use VTLS. About 27% of Singapore’s population use these visas, many of whom are citizens of Indonesia or neighboring Malaysia who come to the island nation to work for short periods.
When Singapore’s borders closed in March 2020, these workers were faced with a difficult decision – find accommodation in Singapore, or quit their jobs and hope that the loss of their income wouldn’t hurt their families.
Over 10,000 Malaysians have decided to stay and ride for the long haul.
Many were understandably keen to get home as soon as possible, so when the site went down, the level of anger on social media increased.
Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) website has been down intermittently since 10 a.m. this morning because @ICA_singapore tries to cope with massive attempts to submit nominations. “If you enter Singapore after December 1, please apply on another day.” pic.twitter.com/OTec9LnG5e
– Omar Mustapha Ong (@omarmu) 22 November 2021
Online applications to use the VTL were opened at 10:00 a.m. for Indonesia and Malaysia, and at 6:00 p.m. for India, Finland and Sweden. The site crashed shortly after 10 p.m. Around noon, Singapore’s SafeTravel site – a travel and visa advice service – also crashed, delivering conflicting messages saying it was “under maintenance” and the app was “currently unavailable.” “.
According to the CIA, the errors were caused when 35,000 people tried to log in at the same time. ICA had predicted an increase, but a configuration error meant autoscaling had failed.
ICA and SafeTravel eventually became available between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with a warning that the app service was experiencing high volume and might not be at its best.
Singapore plans to open up more to its neighbors, but will still require registration – and likely some load balancing and other autoscaling technologies as well. ®