The Internet is an integral tool for modern businesses. As more businesses migrate to the cloud and global ecommerce becomes the norm, ensuring a high level end-user experience is becoming a business imperative. For this reason, one of the greatest threats facing any organization is the possibility of an outage that could disable business operations. With more than 3,000 Internet outages occurring around the world every day, as well as data centers and cloud providers becoming more susceptible to latency issues, organizations need the right tools to deal with these inherent challenges and help improve the return of investment from cloud services and web-based offerings.
Here are five ways to help organizations limit the impact of latencies and outages on their Internet infrastructure:
1. Be proactive rather than reactive
Poor web performance costs businesses time, customers and revenue. For example, in March this year, the Apple App Store suffered an internal DNS error which cost US$34 million in lost sales, resulted in 11 hours of down time and severely reduced the quality of customer experience. Physical stores were also impacted by the DNS error and some were unable to make credit card transactions. Similarly, in August last year, Marketo suffered a service interruption of 17 minutes. In this small period of time many features of Marketo were affected which meant delayed emails, unavailable landing pages and users unable to log-in. Closer to home, Internet users were denied access to Google Inc's Malaysia website, and were redirected to a hacked page in April this year.
Preparing for these unavoidable Web performance issues is the only way to ensure that your network will pass through online disasters. Ensure your backup is ready to go in the event of a change in Internet conditions.
2. Understand the risks of human error
Create a safe operating environment and avoid downtime caused by human error. While external threats to your infrastructure make headlines, internal errors are often the culprits when it comes to network failures. When an IT department makes updates to servers, even the smallest error can cause an entire site to crash. Even bringing Web properties offline for site maintenance can cause issues if it is not handled correctly. This is why you need to consider deploying multiple instances of your services and steer traffic to stable sites while other sites are upgrading.
3. Make smart investments in Internet Infrastructure
Successful business leaders rely on metrics to fine-tune their business operations. Monitoring your Internet infrastructure should be no different. Internet traffic patterns change frequently depending on the location, the time of day, time of year and the type of device used. If you want to optimize performance, you need to have the tools required to deal with an outage to a data centre, or a cloud provider struggling to reach important markets.
4. Monitor and control assets in one place
Streamlining control of the assets in your IT infrastructure will provide a clear picture of connection and performance status. With a comprehensive, end-to-end view into the speed and availability of your information across the Internet, you are putting your business in a position to rectify a potentially critical situation. Real-time data, root cause analysis and complete asset visibility are all must-haves when downtime could otherwise have a serious impact on customer loyalty and brand reputation.
5. Improve customer support
Customer support around outages and Internet Performance issues is notoriously murky. However, you can leverage outages as an opportunity to improve your customer relations. Offer clarity to the situation, educate customers about where the issues are and assure them that your team has the tools to expediently address the problem. Not only are you positioning your business to have the know-how to identify and remedy issues when and where they arise, but you will drive increased trust in your brand and have more satisfied customers.
Martin Ryan is VP & Managing Director Asia Pacific, Dyn