The holiday season in the United States that extends from Thanksgiving through the New Year has many different meanings to the country’s population. Some focus on family, friends and traditional celebrations. Others may find that a more spiritual connection dominates the season for them. Giving gifts to loved ones is a common practice during this time of year.
In the retail world of brick-and-mortar and e-commerce establishments, supplying those gifts during the final few months of the year can represent a substantial slice of a company’s total yearly revenue. Huge shopping events such as Black Friday and other seasonal sales put a strain on the point-of-sale and inventory systems of traditional retailers. Cyber Monday continues to grow with estimates on this year’s single-day sales reaching over nine billion dollars. The computer systems behind your favorite online stores and those of their delivery services are severely tested as they strive to meet increased customer demand.
For these reasons, IT managers and professionals are a little more stressed out during this time of year than most other people. Many problems may plague their systems and impact the company’s ability to provide for their customers. Concern over these issues can lead to sleepless nights spent worrying over alternative disastrous scenarios.
IDERA’s Uptime Infrastructure Monitor is an all-purpose monitoring tool that can be used in a variety of ways that will help alleviate the stress on your IT team. Let’s take a look at how valuable this application can be during periods of peak usage as well as during other times of the year.
Quickly Identifying System Problems
Unexpected and unplanned outages are never welcome in the IT world. When they come at the wrong time they can be disastrous. This year, consumer giant Costco was affected by a Thanksgiving Day outage that lasted through Black Friday and led to more than $11 million in lost sales for the company. If you work in the field, you can imagine the chaos caused by these system malfunctions.
The customizable alerts and comprehensive monitoring capabilities of Uptime can help address this type of situation. The tool provides complete visibility into your IT infrastructure and enables you to develop proactive alerts that rapidly pinpoint issues affecting your servers, applications, and network. You can create dashboards to focus your monitoring efforts on critical components that need extra attention during times of increased system usage.
Planning for Excessive System Demands
The IT systems of any business remotely involved in the holiday shopping season can suddenly be called upon meet unexpected demand. For example, FedEx estimates it will process 33 million packages on Cyber Monday. Fortunately, the corporation expected the bump in activity and will be able to handle the excess demands. Dealing with seasonal spikes needs to be part of a company’s overall IT strategy if they are in businesses that are affected by them.
Prior planning can alleviate some of the stresses on system performance. Uptime’s ability to assist in capacity planning will ensure that your organization has the resources required to deal with the influx of customers associated with seasonal demands. This applies to all sorts of businesses, not only those that are impacted by the holiday shopping rush. Companies specializing in jet ski rentals will have their systems under duress at a different time of the year.
With Uptime, you can uncover the answers to the big three capacity questions. Identify your current capacity, how much of it you are currently using, and how much you will need to meet historical trends. As with other aspects of Uptime, this analysis is done across your entire infrastructure from a unified platform. Armed with the capacity planning information provided by Uptime, you can upgrade your environment where it is needed in order to provide for the expected increases in demand.
Maintaining Service Levels
If your business delivers a service to its customers, maintaining agreed-upon levels of performance and availability are vitally important to its financial health. Failure to meet service level agreements (SLAs) often results in monetary penalties and will certainly reduce the customer’s confidence and willingness to purchase additional services. Holiday cheer notwithstanding, your clients don’t want to hear about your system problems, network overload or lack of capacity. They want their services and they want them now!
One of the Uptime’s outstanding features is its SLA Manager. It performs SLA monitoring and alerting to apprise you of issues that may impact service levels before they manifest into real problems. Uptime can generate informative reports and create customizable SLA monitoring dashboards. The tool even allows you to test SLAs against historical performance to ensure that you enter into agreements that you can meet.
So spread some holiday cheer of your own and introduce Uptime to your set of IT tools. It will help your organization deal with any seasonal fluctuations and assist in streamlining performance under any conditions. Your customers will enjoy the fact that your systems work as advertised and flock to your site. It’s like one of those gifts that keep on giving long after the novelty has worn off.