Where would we be without functioning data centers? That’s a question to ponder as you sit around the Thanksgiving Day table with family and friends.
This time of year, data centers are hit especially hard. Gray Thursday and Black Friday shopping surges stretch retail store connectivity as customers use wireless on smartphones while they shop, and networked cash registers and point-of-sale systems ring up purchases. If these systems go down, so do transactions.
Reports from Techradar say that tomorrow (Black Friday) is going to be the biggest day of online shopping in history. While this is exciting for consumers, it’s a little scary for data center managers. What if the network goes down? The power goes out? There’s a single point of failure?
The same holds true for online shopping. Last year, Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in history. Online shopping revenue was up 15.4% as compared to Cyber Monday 2013. If your website isn’t accessible due to data center downtime, you lose all potential sales. Just ask HP, Best Buy, Cabela’s and Foot Locker – these retailers all suffered website outages last year (many citing “internal issues” as the cause).
Cyber Monday is one of the most heavily trafficked Internet days of the year. Most people are back at work by then (the Monday after Thanksgiving), but don’t want to miss out on sales – so online shopping may happen within workplace walls, maxing out network bandwidth and negatively impacting productivity and performance. The more traffic there is on the network, the slower things move.
Mobile shopping (orders on smartphones and tablets) made up one-fifth of Cyber Monday online shopping last year; that number is expected to grow again next week. The National Retail Federation expects 126.9 million shoppers to buy online on Cyber Monday 2015.
The best thing to do to make sure your data center is ready? Prepare ahead of time. A DCIM solution provides peace of mind by constantly monitoring and managing the environment. When a potential problem arises, it alerts you immediately. Early warnings help you address the issue before it wreaks havoc, interfering with the shopping experience.
Data centers designed to reduce human error (the No. 1 cause of downtime) can also prevent “internal issues” like some big businesses suffered through last year. Clear color coding and tracing eliminate the need for “guessing” during maintenance and repair work.
Belden offers several solutions to minimize human error. Standard fiber and copper products have the same footprint to encourage easy and fast installation, repair and maintenance. Erika Violet cable, adapters and connector bodies make plugging in the wrong fiber jumper type virtually impossible.
Mike Peterson joined Belden from 2014 to 2016. As the technology and applications manager, Mike monitored major industry technology activities and kept tabs on up-and-coming data center trends. He was also instrumental in developing relationships with industry standards organizations and trade alliances.