How To Keep Retail Customers Running Through the Holidays


With Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, Josh Stephens, Head Geek and Vice President of Technology at SolarWinds, offers tips that help IT solution providers get their customers through the holiday crush.— Jennifer Bosavage, editor

During the holidays, no enterprise, especially retailers, can afford to have their network or a key web application slow down, or worse -- crash completely. A few tips to help IT solution providers prepare their customers against this include:

  • DEFINE: Determine the customer's network performance indicators – bandwidth utilization, latency, errors, packet loss etc. so you have a baseline from which to predict the impact of heavy usage increases. Can the customer's current bandwidth support a massive spike in traffic on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

  • DISCOVER: Learn who and what is currently consuming the customer's bandwidth. It’s important to drill down to specific network elements and ensure traffic prioritization strategies will effectively meet needs.

  • DETECT: Monitor WAN to determine impact on key applications and ensure site-to-site network performance. If there is an existing imbalance between sites, a surge in traffic will magnify any potential problem. Manage cloud-based and internal web applications using tools that let you respond to transaction problems before your clients' customers see them. That will eliminate any slowdowns or crashes on your Web sites and keep shoppers happy!

  • DEFEND: Use tools that will allow you to see logs from multiple sources around specific incidents; that is a key to solving performance problems both for infrastructure and applications once they are identified.