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Four ways Black Friday could DESTROY your network

Four ways Black Friday could DESTROY your network

18/11/2015 11:32 by Michael Killen
Digital Marketing Executive

I promise that if you read this, you'll see EXACTLY how dangerous social surges in traffic can be to your website, app or business.

The problem is that real world events are now so connected to our online eco-systems that calendar events can bring your business to a grinding halt.

If you think that only America suffers from Black Friday (27th Nov) madness.  Think again.  The truth is that your website is vulnerable unless you're able to deal with the influx of traffic that's going to hit your website.

On top of all that, you need to make sure that you're still giving your customers the best experience possible while making sure that they’re still able to shop with all the functionality you’ve built into your e-commerce.

1. Imagine spending 30 minutes waiting for a website to load


Social events in the real world, like Black Friday can seriously impact your website.  Imagine having 10x or 100x the traffic you’d expect in a normal day, all coming at once.  Even the big boys like Curry’s are capable of experiencing outages.

For example some shoppers on the Curry’s website had to wait 30 minutes to update and complete orders.

2. It’s not just e-commerce and retail businesses


So, retail and e-commerce industries are the obvious casualties of events like this.  But it isn’t just retail and e-commerce businesses that need to be concerned.

If your website is hosted on a shared server with an e-commerce website, you could suffer because of the level of traffic that the other website gets.  If a shared server has to deal with a sudden influx of heavy traffic, your website could go down.


3. It’s not just the big boys

 Appdynamicscreen (1)

Sandy Mappic from Appdynamics has written about how ecommerce apps will fail this black Friday.  From database connection tools to 3rd party web services, there are few things that can withstand the shopping public’s hunger for slightly lower priced TVs and iPads.

The moral here is that it’s not just the big businesses that could suffer from black Friday.  It’s not even just websites that could suffer.  Applications and servers are also in the firing line.


4. Here’s what happens when it goes wrong



Argos is a pretty big business.  Their website, mobile site and app generated £1.9 billion in the last year alone.  So you can imagine just how dangerous the consequences when a mobile browsing site or website is down for an entire weekend.

“…furious customers were left unable to take advantage of the savings after the website went offline for hours at the weekend.” Aaron Brown, Express.co.uk


How to cope with demand – contingencies and plan B


Prepare for predictable things like Black Friday and big sporting events.  Even if you’re unlikely to see serious surges in traffic, the fact that you CAN prepare against events like websites going down means that you should have a contingency plan in place.

Hacks, DDoS and malicious files can easily bring small and large websites down.  The cost of a website going down and having to be recovered can be expensive.  This is particularly true if you don’t have a backup and restore process.

Remember that leased lines and SLA driven services are now dropping well within the price range of most business users.  As my colleague Nick says in his blog, “Leased lines are now easy to install, simple, affordable and most of all backed up with engineering and service guarantees.” 

As demands on your network from both in and outside of your organisation grow, it’s certainly worth considering.


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