Downtime Issues: How to Manage and Prevent Unplanned Downtime

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Unplanned DowntimeResearch by Google has found that you often have less than 5 seconds to keep mobile users around before they leave your site.

If you’re having issues with unplanned downtime, you could be losing countless users out of a lack of faith in your brand. All the work of getting users to show interest in your brand could be lost if they click away after just a few seconds.

If you’re looking to lower downtime on your site, follow these 3 rules to keep your customers happy and hanging around longer.

1. Plan Your Updates

While most companies plan out their updates carefully, and you may be no different, they don’t always leave enough time to cover the problems they encounter. Following your update, you need to test all your dependencies. While you might be using the latest version of one piece of software, it could mean lights out for other pieces.

Be sure that you have tested out your updates by doing a series of tests on machines that aren’t connected to your system. Consider using a dependency manager to keep an eye on things.

Once you implement the updates, you’ll have to be on hand in case anything goes down. If you plan to have your updates completed during the wee hours of the morning, be around so that you can fix issues before your customers notice.

Additionally, you need to have a plan in place to provide continuous application availability even during maintenance, patches, upgrades, and changes to improve the performance of your system.

2. Set Up a Dynamic System

Downtime can happen because you haven’t scaled properly. If your hardware demands don’t meet what you have on hand, you could end up buckling under the weight of too much traffic. Your system needs to be able to balance loads so that your users are spread out across your servers and your system.

If you must take one of your machines down to make an upgrade, then you need to have machines that can take its place. There should be no major interruption, no loss of data, and no disruption in your workflow. Your users will have no idea that one component has been removed from the system.

If this becomes too hard for you to set up, you can use managed IT services to scale your system. Their expertise can help you to determine where issues lie in your system and get it balanced properly to handle the traffic from mobile users.

3. You Need a Disaster Plan

As climate change becomes an issue in every part of the world, the need for disaster recovery plans has become an essential part of corporate strategy. While you’re more likely to have to deal with human error than an environmental issue, you should be prepared for downtime.

If you don’t have your data dispersed to different data centers in different parts of the world, this is something to seriously consider. That way, you won’t have everything centralized and vulnerable to a hack or a storm. Your disaster plan should essentially be your plan to keep your website running, even if your business location is dealing with a disaster.

By not having your data centralized, you can create a system that keeps your business open no matter the circumstances.

Unplanned Downtime is an Unplanned Revenue Drain

If you’re dealing with unplanned downtime, it’s going to be hard to explain to the executive team who only sees that as a loss of users. If you want to retain your customers and your profits, you need to eliminate unnecessary downtime from your system. Once you get rid of downtime, you will see lower bounce rates and higher customer retention.

Since your system needs to be backed up constantly, check out our guide for managing your backup.

Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.