Is your infrastructure fully fortified to handle the Black Friday shopping frenzy? Is your IT team all set to deal with the onslaught of super deals? Is your website designed to deliver a seamless shopping experience even with 10x normal traffic? Your e-commerce website is vital to your sales and marketing success, so make sure your infrastructure is optimized to efficiently manage unexpected traffic spikes by following these 10 steps.
1. Review Performance Trends From Last Year’s Transactions
Study the shopping trends of 2015 and know the number of transactions that took place per second along with the disk response time and memory consumption. Assess the expected traffic spike on the basis of batch requests and verify whether your hardware is equipped to handle the fluctuations. Adjust your existing hardware if necessary and test the load on your servers by simulating the previous year’s point of sale.
2. Evaluate Your Failover Strategy
Make sure that you have a solid backup plan in place that stacks a redundant copy of your data on the external server. Carry out a dry run to ensure that you can safely restore all your data when needed. Finally, don’t forget to run a disaster-recovery test to guarantee that your systems remain up and unaffected even under adverse conditions.
3. Perform a Configuration Check
Monitor the overall health of your database and perform a configuration check to ensure that memory settings are in compliance with the hardware. Also, make sure that NICs and hard disks are healthy and power backups in place.
4. Test Your Availability
Your database server should be capable of handling several requests simultaneously when traffic is at its peak. Ensure that your web apps are configured for optimal connection pooling. You should test the database server for high availability and configure it for hardware failures. SQL server failover clustering along with database replication is an appropriate solution to ensure high availability.
5. Update Statistics
Archive old information that you’re no longer using. Doing so will dramatically reduce the time that performance-maintenance activities require and will also improve query performance. When reorganizing indexes, you can move the archived data to a backup file or to another database.
6. Resolve Pending Issues
Analyze recurring issues and extract the ones that you have recently fixed. Review all the configuration changes made to your database and ensure that all the pending and ongoing problems are resolved. Uncover everything that’s slowing down your database including patch updates, structural modifications, altered file parameters and everything that is configurable.
7. Set Up a Freeze Date
The best way to prevent undetected risks from disrupting your database performance is to implement a code freeze date. Start by listing all the threats and challenges involved in any inevitable implementation and review all the recent changes.
8. Scale Beyond Expected Traffic Spikes
Your infrastructure may be performing well today, but will it be able to handle the Black Friday rush in November? The most reliable way to ensure high availability is to scale the infrastructure beyond the expected traffic. Installing load-balancing software lets you build resiliency in case of system failure. It’s easy to deploy and requires no changes to your existing servers. It also facilitates autoscaling without taking the applications offline.
9. Bulletproof Your Infrastructure to Handle Nonstop Traffic
If you don’t want to join the league of online retailers whose websites failed to survive the Super Bowl surge, you need to bulletproof your database for 10 times your typical traffic load. To do so, you need to baseline your infrastructure, know the input and output, and stress-test the components to see whether they survive. Assess your vulnerabilities and accordingly apply security controls while automating the failover of your major infrastructure.
10. Set Up a Robust System
Ensure that all your critical maintenance patches and security systems are in place. If customer data is unencrypted, you’re running the risk of losing customer confidence and inviting costly legal damages.
Bonus Tip: Get Started With Database Load Balancing Before It’s Too Late
Black Friday is both a jackpot and a threat for online retailers. Although it brings a surge of online shoppers who can raise your revenue by millions, it also means you must achieve 100% uptime to handle sales that increase by more than 100% compared with other times. As expectations from e-commerce sites keep growing, you need to deliver a seamless shopping experience while ensuring faster service. This requirement calls for complete infrastructure optimization so that when the traffic spikes, your site doesn’t crash. Online shoppers often abandon unresponsive websites, never to return. When systems fail to keep up with the demands of the holiday season, companies suffer an average loss of $5,000 with every passing minute. So how can you cope?
Enabling Near-Zero Downtime Even During Massive Traffic Surges
As the number of IT resources increases, reducing app errors becomes difficult. Load-balancing software enables instant scaling without taking the apps offline. It facilitates instant database failover to help e-commerce sites achieve zero downtime and handle traffic surges efficiently. Designed to deliver an excellent customer experience, it offers an unparalleled view into app behaviour and performance bottlenecks. It can add resiliency to new and existing apps to deliver high availability year round. It lets you cache read-only SQL query responses while exercising complete control over their expiry.
Load-balancing databases support read/write splits while routing all the read queries to the secondary server and write queries to the primary server. This feature allows you to employ multiple servers for increased availability. Database load balancing diverts all the traffic to a secondary master as you keep adding more nodes so that customers remain online even with high volumes of online traffic. It provides real-time analytics to keep you on top of performance issues, service attacks and anomalous behavior, helping IT teams trace issues that are slowing down the database and resolve them as quickly as possible. Live monitoring lets you focus on improving performance and providing a positive shopping experience.
Deploy load-balancing software and make record-breaking sales this Black Friday with extreme scalability and high availability.
About the Author
Tony Branson is a self-proclaimed tech geek with a passion for ScaleArc’s disruptive technology innovation in database load balancing. Tony has a passion for dissecting tech topics such as transparent failover, central control, ACID compliance, database scalability and downtime effects. On his days off, he can be found watching sci-fi movies, rock climbing or volunteering.