How To Prepare Data Centres From The Holiday Rush?

The previous holiday season was not a happy experience for many shops and store keepers. According to shop owners, many people are still looking around, but most of them spend lesser money than they usually do.

On the other hand, online shops are experiencing a different situation. Records of data collection from online retail sites show that a greater number of people are actually shopping online. Coremetrics, a Web information company reported that the sales during the last Thanksgiving week was 14 percent higher compared to last year and the amount of money spent for each sale was also 38 percent higher.

Burton Group principal analyst Dan Blum advised online store owners to maintain the flow of traffic and to ensure that the data centres of the websites are properly checked during this period.

Blum also said that to generate traffic effectively, the website should always be available and running because without traffic the site will lose in the world of e-commerce business.

Reconditioning a website’s data centre during the month of December is a bad habit and will surely make the owner exceptionally busy. December is a peak season for holiday shopping so it important for companies to be ready before customers starts to pour. There are a few important lessons that each online shop owners should apply.

Getting Ready as Early as October

Dan Blum made the term “spring cleaning in early fall” for every online company to apply. According to him, doing website maintenance on December is too late and site cleaning should be applied as early as October. Website owners should check how they transact business operations for thorough readiness.

Check the site’s content distribution networks and see to it that the workloads are evenly distributed among network links to avoid overload during high traffic season. If your current network is not giving you what you need, look for other technologies and even if it is too late to apply changes, at least next year you know what to do.

Aside from improving the website, the company should see to it that they have the right number of staffs to work during peak seasons. There should always be a person available to answer queries and solve problems whenever they arise. According to Blum, personnel management should already be planed before the end of October.

An online store owner should know the number of staffs he needs, not only to keep a smooth sailing business transaction, but also to keep the site ready when unexpected problems occur.

Defend your Site from Online Threats

During holiday seasons, there are two cyber threats that corporate data centres usually face.

Traffic generating websites should be prepared for denial-of-service attacks which are common during high revenue periods. Online criminals usually attempt to make the website unavailable for its intended use by forcing the site to reset or by consuming its resources, resulting to the inability of the website to respond to traffic. The suspect demands money from the company owner to stop the attack. According to the survey conducted by Computer Security Institute on the year 2008, 29 percent of businesses confirmed they experienced this kind of attack while 21 percent from the previous year was involved in the same event.

Blum suggested companies to get a distributed denial-of-service prevention tool. This will help a website owner deal with the causes of sudden spikes in traffic and of course it will give certain measures to withstand online attacks.

A Web firewall provider and CEO of Arts of Defence Georg Hess says that aside from denial-of-service attacks, company websites should also be wary of intrusion attempts which are common when holidays are nearing. According to him, attacks during this season might increase to five to ten percent.

Consider Cloud Computing Resources

For companies who have been avoiding cloud computing, the pay-as-you-go practice might be the solution you need to beat the holiday rush.

Hess also advised the use of cloud computing resources to control additional virtual private servers of a website, thus solving customer traffic spikes. This is a proven method used by the top ten e-commerce sites in Europe.

These companies start to prepare cloud resources ten to fourteen days before Christmas arrives and they ensure their website is already capable before the occasion.

Having additional cloud resources are like having a building with three levels: fundamental business components are still located at the company, static online components hosted by a different provider, and cloud resources availed to control traffic spikes, Hess stated.

Hess says that the mentioned technique in controlling traffic spikes is an effective method commonly used by Chief Information Officers for cloud resourcing.

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