Cloud News & Insights

Holiday Season, The Drifting Cloud And Online Stores

Hand out of PC with shopping cart

The holiday season brings cheer and joy to every one of us. But the happiest lot are the online infrastructure providers. The requirement of hardware jumps manifold at the beginning of December and the demand continues way into the month of love and roses – I mean February. These winter months are also full of frenetic activity for online stores and ecommerce sites. In the next few posts I will be discussing the hypothetical lives of some business owners who are likely to be in the thick of things.

The story of Hank Chikkoo

Hank inherited a Mom & Pop store at East end, London; otherwise he didn’t have much to show for himself till he decided to go online. Probably that period was in a way the end of his halcyon days while being extremely exciting and thoroughly enjoyable. Getting a website up and about was a challenge. The problems started appearing immediately in the form of technical expertise. No one was ready to work for him exclusively because the products he traded in were low brow and downright unromantic. Either the tech boys went for big names or start-ups with fancy ideas. Selling shoes and imitation jewellery was certainly not on top of the agenda for brilliant programmers.

The other issue which consumed his time was the selection of online infrastructure.  Hiring dedicated hardware like web servers and choosing different compatible software required technical knowhow which he didn’t possess. Finally, it turned out alright after all. Hank’s ecommerce site went live in the winter of year 2009. It did so well that Hank was compelled to concentrate his efforts on his online store and shut his shop at the East end.

When hank’s online store blanked out in the winter of 2012

For Hank it was a winter of discontent. His online venture ‘HanKing’ was doing well and was supported by fifty web servers which was quite an achievement. Hank was all excited about the coming Holiday season and had discussed the requirements with his staff consisting of a few software and a couple of hardware guys. They had recently moved from a traditional html platform to popular CMS called Joomla. This was a significant move by ‘HanKing’ and Hank was proud of his store. He had more than a thousand items on sale and the sales were expected to hit the roof in the coming New Year. And then all hell broke loose.

Estimating surge in traffic and online hardware requirement

On Christmas Eve of 2012, all fifty web servers of ‘HanKing’ were buzzing and business was bustling and bursting at the seams. From a mere thousand visitors a day, the traffic had surged to twenty thousand. Hank was literally looking forward to a Caribbean holiday which he had been dreaming of for a long time.  In addition to selling items online, Hank had also tied up with several manufacturers for providing special offers and promotions.  Right when things were going well, his online shop went up in smoke.

To be continued – What went horribly wrong with his online store? What could Hank have done to avoid the disaster? I will come to that part of Hank’s story in my next post. Till then, I wish all of you a happy holiday.

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About the Guest Author:

Sankarambadi SrinivasanSankarambadi Srinivasan, ‘Srini’, is a maverick writer, technopreneur, geek and online marketing enthusiast rolled into one. He began his career as a Naval weapon specialist. Later, he sold his maiden venture and became head of an offshore Database administration company in Mumbai. He moved on as Chief Technology Officer of one of the largest online entities, where he led consolidation of 300 online servers and introduced several Web 2.0 initiatives. He holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication.

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