You’ve heard of websites crashing before from the sheer volume of traffic—Cyber Monday, Twitter in some instances (like when celebrities take massive selfies at the Oscars), and of course the beloved golf Masters Site when the Masters Golf Tournament takes place each April. Every year, this website becomes one of the most popular in the world with millions of people flooding it. The rest of the year, it enjoys steady yet moderate traffic, but it has learned to perfect the April rush and handle it with grace thanks to a good web host.
SoftLayer is the web host in charge of keeping this site running smoothly, even as golf fans badger it with traffic. Sometimes traffic spikes can be tough to predict, but an annual event like this gives the website owner and host plenty of advanced warning. With the right tactics, any good web host can prevent bottlenecked sites even when the amount of bandwidth in demand is staggering. With predictive cloud, the website continues to keep golfers and fans in the loop no matter who’s climbing up the leader board.
The Real Hole in One
Unsurprisingly, the Master’s site is filled with graphics that can make solid hosting even more of a challenge. It’s hosted from a building actually on the Augusta National Golf Club, dubbed the “bunker” by IBM—who’s an official sponsor of the Masters. The marketing manager, John Kent, says, “In theory, the website is uncrashable. The website is designed for continuous operations, so we have to keep an eye on demand.” This is achieved by calibrating all that historical data with the real time data thanks to platforms like Twitter. Social media can let you know how many people are keeping an eye on topics.
The host depends on Watson Analytics for forecasting traffic, which frees up the host to groom servers in a proactive manner to handle the spikes. IBM is a big fan of Watson, which excels at blending data for things like weather apps, too. In fact, The Weather Company adopted the IBM cloud recently because of the incredible analysis available. However, bear in mind that there are a slew of great analytic companies out there, as long as due diligence is performed when researching them.
This isn’t the only major sporting event the host is in charge of. They also host the French Open, and SoftLayer says they have plans to make their predictive cloud even bigger. It could soon be the choice du jour for Black Friday and Cyber Monday e-commerce sites since clearly the host excels at handling any amount of traffic that comes barreling in. So far, SoftLayer hasn’t had any problems managing millions of people, but unexpected down time could permanently lose it some major customers.
This might be a severe example, but it is critical for any and every host to offer well over 99 percent uptime. Taking measures to succeed during traffic spikes is also paramount for any host, even if they aren’t hosting the French Open. Make sure to check the guaranteed uptime of your host, and compensation should they fail, before signing up.