The airline suffered website downtime this week that may have cost it millions of pounds.
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This week's British Airways website crash, lasting around seven hours, may cost the company millions of pounds and certainly inconvenienced customers. According to BA’s 2016 annual report, the airline made £11bn revenue in a year, equating to £31m revenue each day. The website was down for 7 hours total.
In today’s online world, a stable website is business critical and while 100% uptime might be impossible to achieve, there are a few key steps businesses can take to get as close to it as possible.
Five tips to avoid website downtime
1. Ensure there is sufficient disk space on servers
For a simple, easily solved problem the potential dangers of running out of disk space are serious: applications running on low disk space can run unpredictably, causing freezes, crashes or data corruption.
Effective monitoring of resources with the right alerts configured before things get too bad can really help avoid unnecessarily large bills. To use one high-profile example, Snap’s cloud bill this year will be higher than its total revenue figure for 2016.
2. Improve security
Hacking attempts and data breaches are a growing menace for big and little business a like. Enabling 2FA should be standard security practice and it should be made mandatory for all services used by your company, no exceptions.
Also ensure that your staff are trained to pay attention when reading all emails in order to avoid phishing scams.Your cloud services provider can also play a major role in protecting your website from a DDoS or any other type of attack with built in anti-DDoS features or by using a 3rd party service such as Cloudflare.
3. Build in failover capacity
If your website experiences a server failure, you want to be able to restore the website as quickly as possible to ensure your customers can continue to buy your product or service. An automatic server failover solution can help here.
Through automatic detection, an error on your primary server can be detected and traffic will automatically be sent to a backup server. This requires additional thought from your development team when architecting the application, but doesn't need to be super sophisticated to be effective
4. Move to the cloud
Cloud computing ensures that you don’t having to deal with issues like power supply and physical security when managing the servers that host your website.
Building your websites on cloud infrastructure means that you sacrifice a degree of independence in exchange for handing over the overall management of the underlying infrastructure to experts. Having proper physical security, anti-virus software, and firewall rules in place are all key parts of a multi-layered approach to security.
5. Implement server monitoring
The best way to minimise the amount of time your website spends offline is to ensure you are notified the moment it happens so you can get them back up and running as quickly.
David Mytton, founder and CEO of Server Density, a scalable infrastructure monitoring company.