By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|July 4, 2012
Q: How can I manage crash-inducing traffic spikes to my website?
A: First off, congratulations–this is a good problem to have. Maybe a new product on your retail website got big media attention. Suddenly your online traffic jumped sevenfold, and 90 minutes later, your site shut down, the victim of too many consumers trying to access your product.
What could have prevented this catastrophe is a content delivery network (CDN) from Akamai, Amazon, CDNetworks or one of the many other providers worldwide. It’s a cloud-based automatic scaling service designed to optimize the delivery of any content–most commonly software and video–to your customers in the most reliable fashion. With a CDN in place, customers can access your site no matter how many visitors have the same idea at the same time. And they can quickly download your content whether they’re across town or halfway around the world.
We turned to Michael Kuperman, senior director of platform operations at Akamai, who has a decade of experience in the content delivery network space.
Who needs a CDN?
If your consumer base is distributed over a wide geographic area, or if you have predictable online traffic patterns–for example, you know Cyber Monday and Mother’s Day are big days–or concerns about unexpected flash crowds due to content or a promotion, you need a CDN. If you require online speed to compete with rivals, as you would with online shopping services or travel reservations, you need a CDN. If your concern is a denial of service or cyber attacks, you, too, need a CDN.
Who doesn’t need one?
If your business is regional with a focus…
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