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GoIPNow Logo  Guest comment: Christmas time, mistletoe and downtime

With online retail forecast to hit its peak this week, Paul Brennan, CEO of online delivery specialist Zeus Technology, offers advice on how to manage online traffic.

As I am sure you are aware today is set to be the biggest online shopping day this year with IMRG estimating that £320 million alone was spent between 1pm and 2pm. This surge in traffic offers welcome relief to retailers looking to make the most of online sales this Christmas, but has the potential to cause major website downtime unless technology is in place to manage surges in traffic. 

 Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s reportedly lost nearly £700,000 a day in sales when its website went down for three days, resulting in hundreds of customers purchasing their groceries from competitor websites. And only a week ago Debenham’s online store also crashed just as its three day £200m sale began.

 Below are some top tips to ensure that your site is in the perfect condition to enjoy a very merry Christmas:

Know what your site’s doing – unless you monitor and test your site regularly (ideally automatically), it will be impossible to anticipate and avoid potential problems

Scalability – you can prepare for the highs – and lows – of traffic by making sure that the infrastructure your website relies on is flexible to fluctuating requirements and can provide additional bandwidth when needed

Load balancing – by recognising different types of requests it is possible to route them to different servers depending on available resource, ensuring that the most important requests are always dealt with as a priority and bandwidth goes where it is needed most

Caching – by identifying and caching web content that is most frequently requested you can reduce the load on your back-end web servers, freeing up that resource to handle other traffic

Security – make sure your site is protected from malicious attacks and that user data is kept safe, by implementing encryption and filtering technologies across your applications. Firewalls and anti-virus alone will not stop a ‘denial of service’ attack”

By Paul Brennan


Zeus Technology

December 09, 2008

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