trafficdefender

Northern Tech Map - GP Bullhound

GP Bullhound recognises Intechnica’s growth on new Northern Tech Map

Intechnica is on the map of growing tech businesses in the North, according to leading independent advisory firm GP Bullhound.

Intechnica is featured in GP Bullhound’s newly launched Northern Tech Map, an interactive tool pulling data from years of research into the growing northern tech movement.

This follows on from Intechnica being named as one of GP Bullhound’s top 50 fastest growing tech businesses in the Northern Tech Awards 2016, alongside businesses like Skyscanner, Metronet, TyreOnTheDrive and TheLADBible.

This has been bolstered by the growth of Intechnica’s TrafficDefender SaaS solution, which has helped clients such as AO World and JD Williams ensure their websites remain online during their busiest sales peaks, as well as Intechnica’s professional services around performance and development.

Intechnica has also become a trusted advisor for businesses during mergers and acquisitions via expert IT due diligence services, working on valuations worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Click here to view the GP Bullhound Northern Tech Map, here to find out about TrafficDefender, or here to find out about Intechnica’s services.

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Intechnica in the top 50 fastest growing tech companies in GP Bullhound Northern Tech Awards 2016

Intechnica are proud to be finalists in the GP Bullhound Northern Tech Awards 2016.

Intechnica joins finalists such as UKFast, Sky Betting & Gaming, Missguided and Skyscanner as one of the top 50 fastest growing tech companies in the north.

The nomination recognises Intechnica’s growth over the past few years, and in particular the growth of TrafficDefender, our innovative traffic management and queuing SaaS product, which has been adopted by businesses like AO.com and JD Williams.

The awards ceremony takes place in Liverpool – watch this space for more information.

Join us at #VelocityConf!

For the third year running, Intechnica are sponsoring Velocity Conference in Europe – this year taking place in Amsterdam.

Velocity is the premier Web Performance and Operation conference, with a schedule packed with the cutting edge of web performance topics and discussions.

If you are attending, be sure to drop by stand 426 on Thursday or Friday, where you can talk to us about:

  • Managed Performance Testing – Delivering a more a consistent, expertly managed performance test resource
  • APM Managed Service – Get the most value and benefit possible from an investment in Application Performance Management tools
  • TrafficDefender – Guarantee website uptime and performance at peak times such as Black Friday sales with our traffic management and visitor queuing solution

Not got your pass yet?

Use our discount code Intechnica25 for 25% off your pass!

Click here to register

Preparing for Peaks at AO.com

In one of the sessions taking place during Velocity, Adam Warne (Director of IT Services at AO.com) will talk about how the UK’s largest online white goods retailer prepares for peaks in traffic by using information to build the right architecture.

This talk is taking place on Thursday 29th October at 17:05 in room G109.

Not attending Velocity? Join a live webinar

Adam will also be presenting his talk in a live webinar on Thursday 5th November, 6pm GMT.

Click here to register

Webinar: Preparing for peaks at AO.com

O’Reilly are hosting an exclusive webinar with AO.com on (remember remember) 5th November, which is sponsored by TrafficDefender.

As with every online retailer, Black Friday has posed many challenges to AO.com. Building a platform to serve an unknown number of customers can be an onerous and expensive task. But what if you have limited time or budget? Using the right tools and techniques to produce and understand data can lead to more predictable results whilst delivering the best solution possible for your customers.

Click here to register for this free O’Reilly webinar

Thursday 5th November
6pm GMT | 1pm ET | 10am PT

Key takeaways from this webcast include:

  • The key principles of platforms and how these relate to your overall business goals
  • The relationship monitoring & analytics of customer experience should have with infrastructure planning
  • The must-know checklist of preparing your technology for peak web traffic

About Adam Warne, Director of IT Services — ao.com

Adam Warne, AO.comAO.com is the UK’s largest online white good retailer, supplying more than 4.5m customers, and household names such as B&Q, Boots and House of Fraser. Adam Warne has been with AO.com for 8 years and has been part of its growth into the successful international retailer it is today. Adam’s previous experience includes delivering IT services at EDS and Skipton Building Society.

TrafficDefender helps Poundworld Plus website stay online during BBC One programme

This article was originally posted on our brand new TrafficDefender website over at http://www.traffic-defender.co.ukclick to read the original now.

For the past eight weeks, the BBC One series “Pound Shop Wars” has followed the plight of the pound shop industry. In last night’s episode, “Battles in Cyberspace”, the programme focused on the ecommerce websites operated by the major pound shops, including poundworldplus.co.uk and poundworld.com.

Predictably this caused a huge increase in awareness and interest in the websites mentioned on the programme, driving massive amounts of traffic to each. This was enough to cause problems for the servers at the Poundshop, not giving the best impression to would-be visitors.

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Thankfully for Poundworld Plus, they had prepared for the TV exposure by implementing TrafficDefender in front of their website.

This meant that the site was able to allow as many visitors in as its servers could comfortably cope with, while placing excess new visitors into an orderly queue. So instead of a screen like the above displayed by the rival Poundshop, Poundworld Plus visitors either got straight through to the site or saw a screen like this (courtesy of Twitter user @Citybird2012):

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This was a much better result for Poundworld Plus because it meant that they could control the amount of traffic hitting their servers at any given time, so as not to overwhelm them and bring the site down for existing visitors. They could even change the threshold at which the site began to queue visitors on-the-fly if they felt the site was coping better or worse than expected.

As for the visitors themselves, as you can see they had a much clearer idea of what was happening thanks to the custom branded queue page, rather than a garbled error page.

With Black Friday shaping up to be bigger than ever this year, how many retailers are prepared for the unpredictable amount of traffic heading for their websites? Find out more about getting TrafficDefender in time now.

Is there such a thing as a fair queue when buying sports tickets online?

When’s the last time you bought a ticket for a sporting event online?

You might remember the problems many people had securing tickets for the London Olympics back in 2012, where website glitches and various delays left many people frustrated (we covered it in this post about web performance nightmares).

Or perhaps you have recently been part of an online queue to buy tickets to the England Rugby World Cup, or to one of many Premiership Football games.

The popularity of these events and the relative scarcity of actual tickets to be sold puts the businesses selling them and maintaining these websites in a unique position. Even when you pretty much know you’re going to sell out, why should you care about the customer experience?

For one thing, fans are quick to voice their disapproval of a bad experience online and lose faith in the process altogether. Let’s take a look at some of the things being said on social media about the online ticket buying experience.

Inconsistent or unfair queue

Sometimes you get placed into a queue, but it never seems to move. Or your position seems to jump around at random, giving you little confidence that the information being shown to you is at all meaningful.

Here are some examples of this from people trying to buy tickets for the Rugby World Cup:

Get to the back of the line – Kicked out of the queue

There’s nothing worse than investing your time into waiting in line for something, only to get to the front and suddenly find yourself at the back of the queue. Are you going to go through the wait all over again or just abandon the queue and your purchase?

It seems like the fans of quite a few football clubs have suffered this fate:

Website crash – No chance to buy

Queues can be frustrating, but even worse is when a site simply breaks and won’t let you make your purchase. This is often down to the popularity of the tickets in question overloading the website with traffic.

Here are a few examples from top football clubs:

So why should ticketing site owners care?

Clearly fans become very frustrated by unfair, inconsistent or broken ticket sales. It makes sense for ticket vendors to use a queue to try to create a fair environment for fans whilst allowing the website to cope gracefully with the high levels of traffic, but often it seems the technology behind these queues are not up to scratch (as evidenced in the above tweets).

What can they do about it?

Intechnica have developed TrafficDefender, a solution specifically designed to provide the best possible customer experience during high demand web events such as ticket sales.

TrafficDefender is built to cope with extreme peaks in traffic to ensure the website defended won’t go down. What’s more, its advanced queueing functionality allows visitors to access the website or specified area of the website in a controlled “first in, first out” manner, always shows accurate information to those waiting, and has advanced features such as live reporting and VIP visitors.

Find out more about TrafficDefender

Brace yourself: Black Friday is coming… in 9 weeks. Will your website stay up?

Winter is coming, which means Black Friday is coming. And Cyber Monday… and Boxing Day – the three busiest days of the year for online retail.

Each year more and more shoppers in the UK are becoming aware of the crazy bargains touted by retailers, both in store and online. And if you think Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only relevant in the US, consider these stats from 2013:

  • Last year, John Lewis reported a large rise in online traffic from midnight to 8am on Black Friday – up 323% on other November Fridays.
  • From 7am to 8am, they saw a 1,340% spike in mobile traffic.
  • Even smaller brands are affected: Maternity focused retailer Isabella Oliver saw a 1,200% increase in traffic on Black Friday.
  • Amazon UK reported than Cyber Monday was even bigger than Black Friday, selling 47 items a second.

The Christmas period in general is a big deal for online retail, accounting for 26% of the year’s sales overall, but while eCommerce and marketing teams are plotting the best campaigns and optimisations to capitalise on the season, IT teams are also working hard to ensure everything runs smoothly.

This is very important when you consider that a crashed website can generate no revenue.

So… will your retail website stay up when the traffic starts pouring in?

Won’t elastic, auto-scaling infrastructure keep us going?

There are lots of ways to ensure websites will remain fast and not crash when Christmas shopping fever hits, but eventually it comes down to sheer available capacity. When you have a fixed infrastructure, this looks like the chart below:

fixedinfrastructure

The black line is the capacity of the website, with the blue line being traffic level over time. For most of the time, you’re not using most of your available capacity – you’re balancing having enough overhead and spending on infrastructure you never use. But in the example above, the blue line (let’s say it’s 7am on Black Friday) peaks above the website’s capacity in the red area, which represents downtime – customers unable to use the site. During this time, everyone already on the site suffers slowdown or gets booted off altogether.

One popular solution is cloud-based auto scaling infrastructure, which looks like the below:

elasticscalingexpected

The expected result is that you scale your infrastructure up and down with your traffic levels, which means you only pay for what’s being used and you can scale up to react to spikes and peaks in traffic.

This works well, but in practice the most sudden and extreme traffic spikes look more like this:

elasticscalingspinup

Because the process of scaling the infrastructure up and down is automated and it takes several minutes to spin up additional servers (as seen in the flat line and red area above), there is lag in auto scaling elastic infrastructure. This means that elastic auto scaling is still vulnerable to sudden peaks (say from a TV advert or celebrity/sponsored tweet) and the website can still experience downtime, even to those who came to the site before the traffic hit.

Pulling the rug out from customers’ feet

The trouble with capacity is that once a website is full, it doesn’t only stop more people from getting in; it effectively slows down or throws off everyone already on the website. Even if a customer has spent 10 minutes filling their basket, servers don’t discriminate and the chances are those baskets will be abandoned.

So what’s your plan?

Fortunately, it’s not too late to invest in an insurance policy against your website becoming overloaded and unable to generate revenue. Intechnica have developed a solution that can manage any overflow in traffic, protecting the website from performance issues while delivering a good, consistent experience to new visitors.

The best part for the IT team is that it’s extremely quick and hassle free to implement – no code changes or extra capacity needed – so it can still be put in place in time for that seasonal peak traffic.

Protecting revenue even at full capacity

The solution is called TrafficDefender, and it works like this:

traffic-defender-queue-diagram

TrafficDefender protects existing website visitors by deferring potentially overwhelming traffic away from the website, keeping revenue flowing beyond website capacity

TrafficDefender watches how many visitors are entering and leaving a website (or entering and becoming inactive). Once capacity is reached, new visitors are automatically directed into a queue to get into the website. Instead of getting an error page or nothing at all, they see a branded page showing where they are in the queue, how long they’ll be waiting and whatever else the website owner wants to put on the page (exclusive discount codes, games, product photos etc.)

As soon as existing visitor’s session ends (either through becoming inactive or navigating away), the next visitor in line is taken straight to the website as promised.

This ensures that you are always delivering the clean, uninterrupted experience to existing customers all the way through their visit, even with the site “over” capacity.

Webinars coming up in October

Join us at 11am UK time on any Thursday throughout October to hear how TrafficDefender works and how it can keep your website running, even if Christmas peak traffic would otherwise bring it down.

Click here to book your place now.