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Black Friday & Beyond: handling web traffic spikes this festive season

Web traffic spikes caused by major calendar events occur all year round. During the summer, calendars are crammed with events, from festivals like Glastonbury or Bestival to popular sporting tournaments like Wimbledon. These summer days now seem a faint memory as we rapidly approach the clutches of winter – and with winter comes Christmas shopping. within the run-up to Christmas, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday will lure vast numbers of shoppers to hunt out the simplest bargains online. Every retailer should understand the technology challenges of handling varying levels of web traffic that this may cause and, especially, the massive spikes when a surge of sales is thanks to occurring. 

Technology failures caused by web traffic spikes are often embarrassing also as expensive, especially on such anticipated retail days, yet they still occur with predictable regularity. Many websites simply aren’t prepared to deal with upsurges in user activity, which could leave countless shoppers angry and disappointed this Black Friday weekend. Every year, the recognition of Black Friday appears to grow which meaning an increasing pressure is placed on the IT infrastructure that underpins participating retailers’ websites. These positive deviations in web traffic illustrate how demand has grown as people increasingly access the newest deals from their mobile devices, choosing to avoid the mad rush of the stores themselves. information technology education

it's not surprising that Christmas shoppers hunt down deals from the comfort of their homes, instead of risking being trampled during a stress-fuelled store frenzy. it's therefore essential that each one website aren't only mobile-optimized, but also designed with an infrastructure ready to deal with these seasonal peaks and troughs. The adoption of cloud technology via Managed Service Providers (MSPs) is proving increasingly popular for organizations that require to scale their requirements and manage traffic spikes with flexibility. The approach gives them the power to feature capacity on a short-lived basis sometimes once they predict a rise in website visits. This capacity can then be scaled back again during quieter periods, and users even have added scope to check for various traffic scenarios without taking their site offline; in order that they use what they buy, making it far more cost-effective. 

Tips for creating a resilient website, for Black Friday & beyond:

Insist on web infrastructure that's both scalable and versatile 

Be prepared beforehand for jumps in traffic, instead of having to deal with a crisis

Ensure the infrastructure is fully tested to make sure that bursts in website activity don't cause sudden and dear downtime

Understanding your infrastructure is vital to making sure that your website is up and running in the least times, dealing with any increases in demand and not risking your business’ online reputation.

Uptime funk you up!

Cloud computing remains a hot trend within the IT world, has transformed the way businesses consider their IT infrastructure. The cloud often offers reduced costs and business benefits, including increased agility across the board.

For many organizations, it's important to be ready to provide reliable network and application services in the least times, even during non-business hours. However, the perception is that the cloud isn't reliable in which downtime, upgrades, and maintenance windows are the norm. the truth is that through utilizing the proper tools and processes, businesses can make cloud uptime truly work for them.

businesses can make cloud uptime truly work for them

Livin’ it uptime

IT organizations are getting to be held in charge of keeping high uptime levels for several applications that are being moved to the cloud. When properly planned, a workload running during a cloud environment are often more resilient and meet higher availability requirements than an on-site alternative.

While some people might check out clouds gathering within the summer sky with pessimism, an equivalent is additionally true with the cloud itself. There remains certain skepticism around performance and uptime within the cloud, which stems from historical outages. No system is ideal, the cloud can fail too. a part of the matter is that when Amazon or other major cloud providers have a little outage, it's big news. Trade news, however, doesn't devour the many outages happening a day in corporate data centers.

When cloud computing was still relatively new, there have been significant performance considerations particularly for database systems, the guts of most applications, also as data transfer speeds and a scarcity of maturity in the way to architect applications to scale on the cloud.

The industry has gone to great lengths when it involves advancing and guaranteeing performance.

The leading cloud service providers offer high powered, also as workload-specific, high-speed storage with guaranteed input/output operations per second (IOPS), and have also made auto-scaling easy, among other improvements. These advancements make the cloud far more reliable than the UK’s summer weather.

The formula to realize uptime within the cloud starts with understanding what's the expected and guaranteed uptime for every piece of infrastructure from your Cloud Service Provider (CSP). Service Level Agreements (SLAs) outline what organizations can expect from their cloud provider from a legal perspective and wish to be analyzed to know the small print and conditions behind the SLA to trigger. Don’t believe me just watch Making the cloud work for your business requires understanding the resources and options each CSP offers and understanding the architectural recommendations and best practices.

For new applications, cloud architecture suggests using distributed applications that will be deployed in clusters of disposable servers with a ‘cookie-cutter’ image. This model allows quick scaling to handle increased loads and reduces troubleshooting to eliminating a server and creating a replacement one from the first image.

The cloud provides IT with the chance to simply found out mirrors of production systems, in active-active or active-passive configurations. Some CSPs provide greater peace of mind with data replicas in several data centers or continents. fixing database replication is often as simple as checking a box.

It’s an honest idea to duplicate essential data; this will be done to a personal site or to be stored by a special cloud provider. With a well-planned deployment and an honest infrastructure, companies can efficiently load-balance their IT environment between multiple active, cloud-based, sites – CSPs provide load balancers, tools to duplicate entire workloads to a special region during a few clicks. Dynamic DNS can eliminate the load balancer itself as one point of failure. So, if one site should go down – users would seamlessly be transferred to subsequent available connection.

Cloud also can provide replication solutions for storage with efficient cloud-based backup. Organizations can have a fanatical link to a cloud-based data center, where engineers are ready to safely backup and restore from the cloud at a coffee cost per Gb. For organizations that are restricted by data retention policies, the cloud provides a retrievable data solution that may be reviewed as required.

Cloud services make it relatively simple to make a flexible environment for organizations which helps to optimize uptime and resilience. Cloud solutions provide an honest forecast with greater amounts of recoverability and business continuity while the present technology continues to grow and develop. With the cloud, organizations can adopt a versatile growth plan capable of scaling with IT infrastructure data demands. With the cloud, uptime funk can provide it to you within the sort of a reliable IT infrastructure solution with minimal downtime.

SD-WAN is here to stay?

Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) are the topic of much discussion within the networking community lately. The explosion of cloud services and frustration with the rigidity, cost, and complexity of MPLS-based WANs is driving companies to think about transforming their network with the web and pushing MPLS aside. That said, the question shouldn't be, “Is SD-WAN here to stay?” But, rather, “At what pace will the transition occur?”

While it’s a known challenge to integrate both private networks and public cloud resources, the SD-WAN design provides the pliability required to transition to the Internet as required, visibility into both legacy and cloud applications, the power to centrally assign business intent policies, and supply users with consistent and dramatically enhanced application performance. 

As more organizations move to the cloud to realize a competitive edge up their respective arenas, many are turning to the present SD-WAN design as a less expensive means of connecting users to applications. the great news is that we don't get to wait around for the underlying network infrastructure to get replaced before we will cash in of those cloud-optimized SD-WAN designs. 

If we glance more broadly at the networking arena, much of the planet has been expecting Software-Defined Networks (SDNs) to require a hold. However, implementing a real SDN today often means a rip and replace of the present network infrastructure, and lots of IT teams hesitate to leap therein the ocean, evoking the “if it ain’t broke” mantra to justify their network design strategy. In contrast, SD-WAN offers a faster path to adoption by emphasizing improvements within the WAN without disrupting the underlying architecture. There’s also the power to transition to a full broadband-based WAN by using path selection capabilities of an SD-WAN to create a hybrid WAN that leverages both broadband and MPLS.

Companies routinely pay network service providers large sums of cash for an equivalent amount of bandwidth that employees can buy in their homes for one-tenth of the value . Another example of long-accepted network clutter includes entire corporate backbones that are often built with limited to no redundancy and without encryption. Many network teams also find themselves counting on dated reporting mechanisms and insufficient information to troubleshoot and support critical network infrastructures. The list could continue.

Ultimately, trends come and enter the technology industry…

While the potential of SDN promises to enhance the way networks are designed, built, and supported, SD-WAN targets traditional WAN concepts and holds the key to unleashing significant improvements within the way WANs are built and managed. For the primary time, it allows organizations of all sizes to attach their branches during a matter of minutes, leveraging the web during a secure and optimized manner to either augment or completely replace their legacy MPLS networks. Ultimately, trends come and enter the technology industry, that’s just the way the industry works, but the answer and impact of SD-WAN are going to be here for the long-run.

Closing the door to criminals within the cloud

In the last decade, successful organizations became the equivalent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. A psychedelic wonderland for pushing out highly creative and innovative ideas that require to become reality, and fast. At the guts of this transformation is IT, which has gone from being the support function that keeps the lights on, to an important mechanism that transforms ideas into applications that add business value. you simply need to check out how often updates are pushed to a sensible phone to ascertain how quickly this is often happening.

As organizations seek the agility to make new features and applications daily, the adoption of cloud platforms and methodologies has increased thanks to its promise of transformative gains in execution, increased service offerings, and lowered infrastructure costs. The cloud has become the backbone for the delivery of lightning speed change and innovation.

However, moving applications and their associated data to the cloud are often slow, and not without risk. Regulators are mandating the protection of sensitive data at the least times. With the value and pace of regulatory reform continuing to advance, organizations are unable to justify the danger of getting sensitive information within the cloud.

The obstacles to the Cloud

However, actually, it’s not governance, risk, or compliance concerns that are truth barriers to progress. cloud technology Instead, an enormous blind spot is emerging in existing data security strategies. we've seen that organizations are spending tons of cash securing their production data. Yet the stringent security controls and protocols that are relied upon to mask sensitive data aren't being applied to the databases that are getting used to making new features or applications. Our research shows that 80 percent of this non-production data sits unmasked within IT environments, opening the door to cybercriminals.

Even with the existence of regulations like PCI compliance, Solvency II, and therefore the Data Protection Directive, personally identifiable information like name, age, and site is visible to any developer, tester, or analyst with the proper access details. this suggests non-production environments are quickly emerging because of the least secure point of entry for savvy cybercriminals – both on-premise and within the cloud. 

That’s to not say there isn’t technology that will help. When it involves migrating to the cloud, organizations got to develop security approaches that start from the within out. this suggests that before data is even migrated to the cloud then it must be transported during a form that's unusable if stolen by malicious cyber-criminals. the solution to having the ability to require advantage of cloud services is to embed data security into everyday practices and solve the data-masking stigma.

organizations got to develop security approaches that start from the within out

Data masking, the method of obfuscating or scrambling the info, exists, but it’s a costly, timely, and manual exercise. Waiting an additional week to mask data whenever the business needs a refresh can mean slipping behind the competition. As a workaround, some companies find yourself using synthetic or dummy data, which contains all of the characteristics of production data but with none of the sensitive content. This solves the info privacy issue, but with production and test data not matching, it’s a quick route to more bugs entering the event process. And bugs mean delays.

The golden ticket

Instead of taking a weekly or monthly snapshot of production data than manually applying data masking on an Adhoc basis, organizations got to insert a replacement layer into IT architecture that automatically masks the info as a part of its delivery. One approach is to make a permanent, one-time copy of production data then apply virtualization and masking at the info level. This makes it possible to mask a whole database then use this to get multiple virtual copies of the info that also are masked. 

By adopting this approach, organizations can guarantee easy provisioning of masked data. IT can retain control by setting the info masking policy, data retention rules, and who has access to the info. Developers, testers and analysts can all provision, refresh, or reset data in minutes, and that they only ever see the masked data. It also allows a centralized view of the organizations’ data and safeguards information for whoever needs it, for whatever project. Whether on-premise, offshore, or within the cloud, all data is secured and may be delivered as a service to the appliance that needs it.

Whether it’s from outside hackers or malicious insiders, people who want to steal or leak data will always target the weakest point within IT systems. By bringing data masking into a service-based model, organizations can readily extend masked data to any environment – including the cloud – rather than counting on synthetic data or duplicates of non-masked copies. Obfuscating data becomes a fluid a part of data delivery, which suggests that any non-production environment are often moved to the cloud and with zero danger of knowledge theft. albeit data is compromised then it’s true value and integrity aren't.

security becomes an enabler

Even more importantly, security becomes an enabler. Ask any organization if they know where all their data is and therefore the likelihood is that they won’t know. With secure data being delivered as a service, organizations are ready to centralize data, mask it, and keep tabs on where it’s going. Within 24 hours, businesses have full visibility into where every copy of their production data is and therefore the confidence that it's masked. As a result, organizations become more agile, with both storage and production times reduced. virtualization technology With the blind spot resolved, organizations can then realize the advantages of the cloud and accelerate migrations without risking security.