Are you Elastic Enough for Cyber Monday?

Are you Elastic Enough for Cyber Monday?

Imagine a typical week of traffic to your company’s web store. This pattern might look a lot like your own traffic, with a peak during the middle of the day, and a slowdown in the middle of the night.

Provsioned Capacity

Given this pattern, it becomes really easy to do capacity planning. We can provision, say 15% over what we see our normal peak to be, and be happy with the capacity we have for a while, so long as our traffic matches this pattern. But, we’re in the first week of November. Check out this traffic graph from one of my e-commerce clients from last November:

November Traffic

This graphic represents the entire month of November. We can see big growth at the end of the month with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. If we stuck with our “add 15%” rule of thumb applied to the spikes, we’d be in deep trouble for the month. That’s a lot of wasted capacity and cost – potentially 76% wasted, with only 24% of it on average utilized for the month. Traditionally, this is how IT has done things. You bought servers for a 6-12 month vision for what growth might look like. So, what’s the solution to all this waste?

Migrating your infrastructure to the cloud enables elasticity and autoscaling, allowing us to map your capacity directly to end-user needs. We can ensure that at any given point in time, only what you need is provisioned, versus an arbitrary guess at capacity.

One of my clients’ web stores was hosted on an outdated infrastructure at the end of its lifecycle. Bandwidth was not optimized and the company recognized that the maintenance costs were no longer sustainable. Furthermore, the old website infrastructure was not scalable, preventing the company from supporting new online initiatives.

We were able to take advantage of the cloud to quickly design and implement a new architecture that could meet workload demands. As a result, we launched their new web store in less than a month. Infrastructure costs were reduced by 50% with improved performance and scalability. Time to market is now close to zero.

Are you elastic enough for Cyber Monday?

Challenge Questions for Business Leaders

  1. How are you prepared to handle unforeseen spikes in demand?
  2. How much money are you wasting in unused capacity?
  3. How quickly can you launch a new offering with your current infrastructure?

© 2015 by Mark Richman. All Rights Reserved.


AWS migration and transformation programs reduce cost, risk, and complexity for rapid business innovation and agility at scale. I offer a number of AWS consulting services, including an AWS migration service to quickly get you up and running. Please contact me for details on how I can help your organization.