As technology improves and we’re connecting more devices to more services, the demand placed on business and brands starts to increase. For example, in 2016 we saw virtual reality and augmented reality come to the fore through the release of products like Oculus Rift and games like Pokémon Go. Some businesses have already started using these tech innovations for marketing purposes, and it won’t be long until we all have to consider them to some extent.
Beyond altered realities, smart home hubs like Amazon’s Alexa entered our homes and brought with them a new era of control, information, and entertainment. Indeed, although Alexa hasn’t completely changed the way we access online services, it’s certainly given us a glimpse into the future just as altered realities are changing the face of entertainment.
However, as interesting as these innovations are, the more interesting point to note is how they are all linked and, importantly, how they are linking us to more services. At the turn of the millennium, the Internet of Things and the concept of having your phone linked to a VR headset, a home hub and even your car were almost the work of science fiction.
Everyone Needs to Stay Online and Connected
If we were to define the current age of technological innovation, one of the main words we’d use is “connections”. For companies with a virtual presence, this ability to link to a variety of mediums and offer services across a range of platforms is fantastic. However, it also comes at a cost: demand. In addition to consumers demanding more in terms of access and efficiency, companies also have to worry about the demand on their IT infrastructure.
Essentially, if a company can’t stay connected across a range of online platforms, they run the risk of losing customers and money. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2016 research, the average cost of downtime is $9,000 per minute. Naturally, this figure takes into account the cost to major corporations like Amazon (even Pokémon Go goes offline). However, it does highlight just how expensive it can be if a company can’t manage its services and stay online.
Unsurprisingly, when technology’s evolution creates a problem, it typically creates a solution as well and one of the best ways for companies to stay connected is through cloud servers. Load balancing has long been used by big businesses to mitigate the risk of downtime, but today it’s become a much more accessible option for businesses of all sizes. In simple terms, load balancing allows a business to distribute certain IT services across different server/servers in order to relieve the pressure on the main structure.
Connections are Linked to Sharing
According to Incapsula, load balancing not only maximizes application performance while reducing server load, it also has the ability to combat failovers. Using cloud-based load balancing, businesses can keep their services running even if their primary server goes down. By having a secondary site in place and connected to a load balancing system, modern technology can detect an outage and automatically transfer data to the secondary site until the issue is resolved.
In real terms, this means that site visitors aren’t affected and normal service can continue. Financially, as the Ponemon Institute’s data has shown, this is essential. Losing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars because your system is down and people can’t connect can crush a small-to-medium business. Fortunately, through cloud servers and the clever distribution of resources, these potential dangers can be avoided.
Indeed, as we move through 2017 and beyond, staying online and connected to the ever-growing Internet of Things is becoming more essential for businesses. This, in turn, means that failover solutions such as cloud-based load balancing are becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.