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HBO Max Spent Months On A ‘Special Operation’ To Prevent Crashing During ‘House Of The Dragon’

As Taylor Swift fans curse out Ticketmaster, let’s take a moment to appreciate a service (mostly) working like it’s supposed to. House of the Dragon was a hit, with viewership in the tens of millions, but HBO’s streaming service HBO Max held up pretty dang well with the traffic surges on Sunday nights. It took months of tests to get there.

“Preparation for something as big as House of the Dragon starts like six months before,” Avi Saxena, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Chief Technology Officer, told The Streamable. “We do a lot of events on our platforms, like the Olympics in Europe, and every time we have a very big tentpole event, we start like six months before to make sure the teams and the platform are ready for it.”

To make sure HBO Max wouldn’t crash with every new episode of House of the Dragon, a team was assembled (I’m picturing dragons in glasses and lab coats). The “special operation” was called the “Project House of the Dragon Reliability,” or “Project HODR,” which Saxena called “appropriate for the project. I think these project code names are very important to get the teams excited to rally behind the project.” It’s a fitting name, even if it brings back a flood of emotions, but, I would have gone with Operation HotD.

From there, they turn their attention to making sure that their systems are able to handle the volume of viewers that will be tuning in on a weekly basis. “Load testing basically creates the simulated load on our services,” Saxena said. “Every time you run load [testing], you identify a bottleneck, [or something that] did not work. We go back, fix that, rerun it… And this exercise continues until we successfully run the test end-to-end for all the services.”

If that’s too much techno-babble for you, maybe this will help:


Hope that clears things up.

(Via the Streamable)