It's a scenario that's unfortunately all-too-common for retailers: You create an exciting sale or product event during the busy holiday season, and a flood of shoppers come online to scoop up the deals. But soon after the merchandise is posted, your site begins to waver and then crash due to the weight of the increased traffic.
How can you ensure consumers enjoy a secure, fast and engaging shopping experience — and one that doesn't crash — on your website this holiday season?
To find out, I spoke with Gopal Brugalette, the applied architect for Nordstrom's performance engineering team, who works closely with the retailer's technology and business partners in an effort to deliver high-performance applications and systems for the enterprise. Brugalette is also responsible for making sure Nordstrom's website functions at 100 percent even with the influx of traffic during the holiday season.
"At Nordstrom, we're always preparing for two big events: our anniversary sale in July and then the holidays," Brugalette said. "We have to be ready for very high volumes as early as July. So from January to July, we're prepping for high volumes, and then from July to November, we're prepping for the holiday rush. It's always on our minds."
To prepare for these events, Brugalette and his team test Nordstrom.com multiple times to ensure it works as engineered. The company relies on Dynatrace's application performance management (APM) tools. In short, APM tools monitor and manage the performance and availability of software applications and websites. They detect and diagnose application performance problems before they start in an effort to maintain an expected level of service. And in the event of any issues, the tools help to identify the causes.
With Dynatrace's APM solutions, "we can pinpoint where a problem may arise before it actually does," said Brugalette.