Chicago, IL, November 27: If the Thursday November 23 failure of Amazon.com and the Friday November 24 failure of walmart.com are indications of things to come online shoppers may be stalled at the gate this holiday season. When online usage exceeds capability the results are outages, which a company may try to thinly veil as "scheduled maintenance," says SingleHop, Inc., a full service managed hosting provider.
"Planning scheduled maintenance that precludes consumers from buying on one of the busiest shopping days of the year really doesn't add up. We expect that with the predicted record influx in traffic, a large number of online retailers will be unprepared, which will result in downtime that can cost businesses thousands of dollars in lost revenue, and as seen in some high-profile cases, as much as $1M per minute. These are numbers you can't ignore"says Zak Boca, president of SingleHop.
It's predicted that online holiday spending will total more than $32 billion dollars this year, with consumers spending 53% of their holiday budgets online. According to a recent Harris Interactive survey (see below), 40% of online consumers will leave a website if it's experiencing issues, and retailers have a scant eight seconds to engage and capture a consumer's attention before they move on.
According to Zak Boca, online retailers have either planned for this traffic in advance or they may be dead in the water. "Your servers and e-commerce applications have to have the additional capacity to handle the holiday rush. Online retailers should test and prepare their systems for a 40% spike in traffic, which means that your website, your shopping carts, and your ordering systems should be capable of supporting an additional 40% of utilization. If your performance audits show that your systems aren't capable, it's important to cluster, which essentially scales a website across multiple servers," he says.
In the instance of a failure online retailers should have a disaster recovery plan in place. "At the bare minimum a disaster recovery plan should include backups and fail-over systems. This ensures that in the event of a failure an online retailer will have both recent backups of all systems and a fail-over system that will quickly take the place of primary servers to ensure a limited amount of downtime. The cost of a failure in this day and age is just too high to remain offline for more than a few seconds," adds Zak Boca.
About SingleHop, Inc.
SingleHop is the industry's first fully transparent managed dedicated server ISP. Located in Chicago, IL, SingleHop was formed to deliver low cost managed IT services for the small to medium enterprises from a central Midwest hub location. The company has capacity for over 2000 servers in one datacenter, with a network powered entirely by Cisco. www.singlehop.com