11-30-09 | Blog Post
Cyber Monday is undoubtedly one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Originally sparked by at work high speed internet access, now more and more retailers are taking advantage of the buzz by offering “Cyber Monday Deals.”
Even our clients are experiencing major bandwidth spikes—as much as 800% increases during today’s lunch hour!
Below is a graph illustrating one of our client’s (we’ll call them Company A) usage spikes over the lunch hour today. As you can see, they held steady at around 500 Kbps, but then spike to 4,000 Kbps in bandwidth usage.
If they were not housed in a datacenter that provided extra (burstable) bandwidth, their business could have suffered major losses due to capped bandwidth speeds. Not only did they have enough bandwidth speed available for their spike, they didn’t have to pay for the extra usage because their monthly contract with Online Tech allowed for spikes up to 10,000 kbps for 36 hours (95th percentile) without additional charge.
According to The Wall Street Journal, online sales are projected to reach $900 million today, a 6% increase from last year. Imagine if Company A, illustrated above had experienced just 5 minutes of server downtime due to a bandwidth shortage during their spike. How much business would they have lost? This is a question every online retailer should ask.
Akamai said that its Net Usage Index — which monitors North American visitors to sites such as American Eagle Outfitters, Overstock.com, QVC .com and eBags.com — said traffic was up nearly 43% compared to the same time last year (CNN Money).
Are all e-commerce businesses prepared for this type of traffic spike? Our guess is, No. Many businesses are not proactively seeking solutions to prevent downtime.
Even large companies like American Girl, are failing to accommodate their potential buyer traffic. AnnArbor.com’s Paula Gardner shared her failed experience while attempting to make an online purchase from AmericanGirl.com.
Thankfully, high-end data centers are equipped to handle this type of traffic variance with little affect on the end-user experience. Just another example of the flexibility and reliability a good data center can provide for your business.