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GDS doubles speed of Notify on GOV.UK Email

16/03/18

Changes made to meet target of 360 requests per second as tests of platform, along with GOV.UK Pay, continue in local government

The team behind the GOV.UK Notify platform has more than doubled the speed at which it can handle notification requests as part of the programme to use it within the GOV.UK Email service.

Notify showing on smartphone screenIt is now capable of sending out 360 requests per second, compared with an earlier rate of 170 per second and equating to a limit of 24,000 per minute for GOV.UK Email.

The news comes with reports from the Government Digital Service (GDS) of pilot projects for the platform in local government, accompanied by others for GOV.UK Pay.

According to a blogpost by the team, the increase in speed for Notify – which provides the public with notifications on enquiries and service delivery – was needed to deliver email notifications originating from GOV.UK Email, which was beyond the capability of the previous infrastructure.

To prepare the system the database for notifications was given a fivefold increase in storage space – up to 512GB for a medium subscription package – along with a tenfold increase in concurrent connections to 5,000 and extra processing capacity.

In addition, the throttling limits of incoming traffic were changed along with Notify’s daily log size.

This made it possible for GOV.UK Email to go live with Notify on 7 March. It is already Notify’s largest user and the team has predicted the platform will be able to support an additional 500 million mail deliveries per year.

Council pilots

An additional blogpost has pointed to an increasing number of pilot projects in local government for Notify. These include Pembrokeshire County Council’s use of the platform in alerting people of issues such as school and bridge closures, council tax-ebilling notifications, taxi licence renewals and missed payments.

It is also available to inform people of their standing on electoral registers in the run-up to the council elections in May.

Similarly, five councils have been using the GOV.UK Pay platform. These include Kent County Council testing it to resolve disputes between consumers and traders, and Stratford-on-Avon District Council encouraging the public to use it in paying for the collection of bulky waste.

Image from the Cabinet Office, Open Government Licence v3.0

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