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How to optimise your website and avoid an outage

Per Bauer, Director International Services, TeamQuest | Aug. 17, 2015
Network outages, if not addressed properly, could lead to business disruption, lost revenue, tainted reputation and customers moving to their competition.

With more than 1.3 million registered Instagram users in Singapore, any outage on the popular social media platforms will result in a flurry of frustrated users.Case in point: Singtel's Instagram outage in April this year.

Being the top telecommunications company in Singapore, a sizeable number of social media users were faced with a 21st-century nightmare on a Saturday night. For a couple of hours, Singtel users were not able to access the platform, which was shut down due to precautionary measures.

Singtel was unable to handle the "abnormally high amount of traffic coming through to the Instagram servers." This not only affected users accessing the application via their data connection, but also on the Singtel's fibre network.

The questions that need to be answered are why did Singtel have to shut down access to Instagram, and what can we learn to prevent it from happening to our site?

Singapore is one of the world's most socially active country with an 87 percent penetration rate in mobile social media.Delivering a consistent Quality of Experience (QoE) takes thorough planning and coordination between IT and other business units. As simple all this sounds, putting it in to practice is complicated. For starters, mobile and data plans are only as good as the information going into them. When demand is far greater than anticipated, IT can become under-provisioned and unprepared, it's a classic case of putting out fires instead of being prepared.

While organisations spend the bulk of their time fighting fires as they arise, not enough time is spent planning ahead. Nearly half or 49 percent of IT managers worldwide believe improper capacity planning is to blame for outages. If IT managers had the proper planning tools, the thinking goes, companies like Singtel would see a decrease in these outages because they would be better equipped to handle major traffic to their network and plan for the unexpected.

It's that proverbial rock in the shoe. If you take a minute to remove the rock, you can walk much farther much faster and focus attention elsewhere along the way. IT organisations that are proactive can do more — at a faster rate — to provide greater value to the business. Some IT organisations have tools in place to gather data but lack mature processes to make sense of it. Mounds of data are useless until analysed and translated into actionable information.

Network outages, if not addressed properly, could lead to business disruption, lost revenue, tainted reputation and customers moving to their competition.

Understanding agility and risk
IT organisations are constantly under pressure to operate efficiently. Coupled with today's fast-changing and dynamic environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. Every day it gets harder to keep pace with shifts in technology and the resulting successful business campaigns that drive buyers to stores and websites.

 

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