RSS

Monitoring Website Performance on Black Friday

For peak events like Black Friday, you need the right observability solution to monitor website performance.

Franz Knupfer

Published:

Nov 21, 2023

5 minute read

For many retailers, the period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday is the busiest time of the year—and how your site performs can be the difference between whether you end the year in the red or the black. Poor site performance will decrease user engagement, increase frustration, and result in lost sales. Problems with your site can even cause lasting damage to your brand. With the stakes so high, it’s typical to provision additional compute resources and set up a command center where subject matter experts can gather, monitor the event with observability dashboards, and quickly find and fix issues when things go wrong.

From an observability perspective, you need a platform that can scale up to meet peak demand, even when that peak means a huge spike in traffic. It’s not uncommon to get 3x, 4x, or even more traffic than usual. If managed correctly, that traffic will be a boon to your site, leading to greater sales and brand recognition. But if your site is having performance issues, you’ll see fewer sales and frustrated customers.

Monitoring Black Friday Traffic for Peak Performance

For cyclical events like Black Friday, you need to monitor all incoming requests, including the type of requests (such as GET versus POST), request response codes (especially 4xx and 5xx codes), and how long each request is taking. You can filter for requests that have 4xx and 5xx codes that indicate issues like internal server errors and resources not being found. To get more granular, you should filter these requests by region and location. You can get even more specific by ingesting geolocation data into Hydrolix, which can help you pinpoint where issues are occurring geographically. 

Monitoring Security With SIEM

In addition to potential performance issues, you also need to monitor your site for security issues such as unauthorized access, denial of service attacks, and fraud attempts. These problems can directly impact site performance, harm your customers and your brand, and directly impact your bottom line. At the very least, you should be monitoring SIEM data and have a plan in place to flag and block suspicious IPs.

CDN Monitoring for Peak Performance

To scale traffic in different regions and ensure your customers are getting a superb user experience, you can use CDNs to deliver your content at scale, and even tune which CDNs are most performant for each customer. For instance, you can correlate geolocation or regional log data with CDN log data to monitor which CDN customers should be using for the best performance. CDN monitoring is a popular use case for Hydrolix, in part because you can ingest data from many different sources into one table, allowing you to see all of your CDN data in one place.

Comparing Performance to Past Events

Another typical challenge with cyclical events like Black Friday is historical comparison. Most observability platforms have limited retention—30 days is typical—making it impossible to do in-depth comparisons of site performance over time. For example, how is your site performing for this year’s Black Friday compared to Black Friday events over the past several years? How does performance and traffic compare between Black Friday and other cyclical sales events? Hydrolix gives you long-term and cost-effective data retention by leveraging high-density compression and inexpensive object storage. And Hydrolix data is always “hot,” meaning you can compare real-time data with any historical data with no negative impact to performance. You’ll get sub second query latency regardless of whether your data is a minute or a year old.

Autoscaling Your Observability Solution for Peak Demand

Finally, managing the costs of an observability platform can be challenging when you have occasional peak events with very high traffic in addition to off-peak times. How do you correctly provision for peak traffic without overprovisioning your resources when you don’t need them? In the case of Hydrolix, which is built on cloud-native infrastructure, ingest and query are decoupled and autoscale independently, ensuring that you can ingest and analyze data at terabyte scale—or even scale down to zero after your peak event. In addition to ensuring that your observability platform is highly performant when you need it to be, you can reduce costs at off-peak times, ensuring that the profit from your big sales goes towards the bottom line, not bloated cloud infrastructure.

Hydrolix for Black Friday Observability

Hydrolix is uniquely suited for ingesting, storing, and analyzing your Black Friday log data, and has several benefits that differentiate it from other observability platforms, including:

  • Autoscale your observability infrastructure for peak events—and then scale down after the event is over. Hydrolix’s cloud-native infrastructure makes it easy to scale because ingest and query are decoupled. Most observability platforms can’t easily scale up or down, making them less flexible for cyclical events and leading to additional costs with overprovisioning.
  • Long-term retention and sub second query latency allows you to easily make historical comparisons. Most observability platforms have limited retention—30 days is typical—making it impossible to do in-depth comparisons of site performance over time. Hydrolix gives you long-term and cost-effective data retention by leveraging high-density compression and inexpensive object storage. And Hydrolix data is always “hot,” meaning you can compare real-time data with any historical data with no negative impact to performance. You’ll get sub second query latency regardless of whether your data is a minute or a year old.
  • Ingest data from multiple sources into one table. Hydrolix is both high dimensionality and high cardinality, and you can ingest data from many sources into a table. This is particularly helpful for use cases like CDN monitoring, where you might want to ingest and compare data from multiple CDNs all in one table.
  • 75% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than other observability solutions. With Hydrolix, you can ingest, store, and query data at scale at a fraction of the cost of other observability solutions.

Next Steps

Hydrolix is built to handle your log data at terabyte scale—and give you the data and insights you need without limits. Learn more about Hydrolix.

Share this post…

Ready to Start?

Cut data retention costs by 75%

Give Hydrolix a try or get in touch with us to learn more

For many retailers, the period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday is the busiest time of the year—and how your site performs can be the difference between whether you end the year in the red or the black. Poor site performance will decrease user engagement, increase frustration, and result in lost sales. Problems with your site can even cause lasting damage to your brand. With the stakes so high, it’s typical to provision additional compute resources and set up a command center where subject matter experts can gather, monitor the event with observability dashboards, and quickly find and fix issues when things go wrong.

From an observability perspective, you need a platform that can scale up to meet peak demand, even when that peak means a huge spike in traffic. It’s not uncommon to get 3x, 4x, or even more traffic than usual. If managed correctly, that traffic will be a boon to your site, leading to greater sales and brand recognition. But if your site is having performance issues, you’ll see fewer sales and frustrated customers.

Monitoring Black Friday Traffic for Peak Performance

For cyclical events like Black Friday, you need to monitor all incoming requests, including the type of requests (such as GET versus POST), request response codes (especially 4xx and 5xx codes), and how long each request is taking. You can filter for requests that have 4xx and 5xx codes that indicate issues like internal server errors and resources not being found. To get more granular, you should filter these requests by region and location. You can get even more specific by ingesting geolocation data into Hydrolix, which can help you pinpoint where issues are occurring geographically. 

Monitoring Security With SIEM

In addition to potential performance issues, you also need to monitor your site for security issues such as unauthorized access, denial of service attacks, and fraud attempts. These problems can directly impact site performance, harm your customers and your brand, and directly impact your bottom line. At the very least, you should be monitoring SIEM data and have a plan in place to flag and block suspicious IPs.

CDN Monitoring for Peak Performance

To scale traffic in different regions and ensure your customers are getting a superb user experience, you can use CDNs to deliver your content at scale, and even tune which CDNs are most performant for each customer. For instance, you can correlate geolocation or regional log data with CDN log data to monitor which CDN customers should be using for the best performance. CDN monitoring is a popular use case for Hydrolix, in part because you can ingest data from many different sources into one table, allowing you to see all of your CDN data in one place.

Comparing Performance to Past Events

Another typical challenge with cyclical events like Black Friday is historical comparison. Most observability platforms have limited retention—30 days is typical—making it impossible to do in-depth comparisons of site performance over time. For example, how is your site performing for this year’s Black Friday compared to Black Friday events over the past several years? How does performance and traffic compare between Black Friday and other cyclical sales events? Hydrolix gives you long-term and cost-effective data retention by leveraging high-density compression and inexpensive object storage. And Hydrolix data is always “hot,” meaning you can compare real-time data with any historical data with no negative impact to performance. You’ll get sub second query latency regardless of whether your data is a minute or a year old.

Autoscaling Your Observability Solution for Peak Demand

Finally, managing the costs of an observability platform can be challenging when you have occasional peak events with very high traffic in addition to off-peak times. How do you correctly provision for peak traffic without overprovisioning your resources when you don’t need them? In the case of Hydrolix, which is built on cloud-native infrastructure, ingest and query are decoupled and autoscale independently, ensuring that you can ingest and analyze data at terabyte scale—or even scale down to zero after your peak event. In addition to ensuring that your observability platform is highly performant when you need it to be, you can reduce costs at off-peak times, ensuring that the profit from your big sales goes towards the bottom line, not bloated cloud infrastructure.

Hydrolix for Black Friday Observability

Hydrolix is uniquely suited for ingesting, storing, and analyzing your Black Friday log data, and has several benefits that differentiate it from other observability platforms, including:

  • Autoscale your observability infrastructure for peak events—and then scale down after the event is over. Hydrolix’s cloud-native infrastructure makes it easy to scale because ingest and query are decoupled. Most observability platforms can’t easily scale up or down, making them less flexible for cyclical events and leading to additional costs with overprovisioning.
  • Long-term retention and sub second query latency allows you to easily make historical comparisons. Most observability platforms have limited retention—30 days is typical—making it impossible to do in-depth comparisons of site performance over time. Hydrolix gives you long-term and cost-effective data retention by leveraging high-density compression and inexpensive object storage. And Hydrolix data is always “hot,” meaning you can compare real-time data with any historical data with no negative impact to performance. You’ll get sub second query latency regardless of whether your data is a minute or a year old.
  • Ingest data from multiple sources into one table. Hydrolix is both high dimensionality and high cardinality, and you can ingest data from many sources into a table. This is particularly helpful for use cases like CDN monitoring, where you might want to ingest and compare data from multiple CDNs all in one table.
  • 75% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than other observability solutions. With Hydrolix, you can ingest, store, and query data at scale at a fraction of the cost of other observability solutions.

Next Steps

Hydrolix is built to handle your log data at terabyte scale—and give you the data and insights you need without limits. Learn more about Hydrolix.