The holiday season is officially upon us! While it’s an exciting time of year, the holidays present an overwhelming season for data center operations. As an increasing number of people turn to online shopping as their primary way to purchase gifts, times of high online traffic often lead to website crashes or glitches. A recent study found that 86 percent of customers will not return to a site if they experienced long wait times or services errors, potentially driving that customer toward a competitor. The holidays are also a time for connecting with loved ones, which is known to cause a spike in travel data usage and online greeting social media data costs.
Regardless of the reason for data spikes, there are important steps data center management should be aware of in planning for peak holiday traffic season. Response time is critical when managing data and IT operations should do all it can to provide the best customer service possible during busy times.
Learn from the past
The best way data centers can prepare for heavy traffic times is to look at the metrics and data from previous peak times. Analyzing past performance can indicate what went well and what was problematic for the center, which is helpful in creating future management plans. With more shopping sales offered earlier in the season, some consumers choose to holiday shop as early as before Thanksgiving. Looking at past measurements may also provide insight as to when times of high usage are likely to occur, identifying which times to be prepared.
It is predicted that by 2019, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) will carry more than half of internet traffic, and soon will become a big part of data center structure. CDNs are a system of strategically distributed servers providing information to end users based on their proximity to the next available server. As more data is needed near the edge, these platforms speed up content delivery to customers, allowing information to reach consumers faster. This caters best to customers shopping online, offering quicker and more reliable service through the purchasing process.
On average, one minute of downtime costs around $7,900. Ideally, data centers will stay online and function throughout the holidays, but sometimes that might not be possible. Budget for downtime you can afford to allow IT equipment or staff relief, without staying offline too long.
For more information on how to keep your facility operating during peak holiday traffic, please contact our team today.