Linux Sysadmin Blog

Black Monday

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E-commercre Report; Several of the most popular online merchants have struggled to cope with the heavy holiday traffic, a survey shows.

Ok, that was NYTimes 2003 – what about now?   This season there have already been several announcements of ecommerce snafus. site shut down for a couple of hours and there have even been rumors of having problems.

Although busts the claim of Cyber Monday as the busiest shopping day dollar wise, over the next five weeks eCommerce sites will experience their heaviest loads.

One interesting phenomenon that has emerged in the last few years is a sort of blending of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday concepts:  The day that produces the most web traffic to online retail sites is Thanksgiving Day itself, as avid shoppers use the Internet to plan their strategies for Black Friday weekend sales at brick and mortar stores:

Matt Tahtam, a spokesman fo rHitwise, as company that tracks 100 of the largest online retailers, says there another trend that’s emerged over the last few holiday seasons: the gratest amount of online traffic (searching and visiting, though not necessairly buying) happening on turkey day itself.

What is the biggest E-Shopping Day in History?  According to this Forbes article (  :by tagging it as the unofficial start of the online holiday shopping season, saw a 26% gain in sales from the same day in 2005 to $608 million, according to industry tracker comScore Networks. The result, beating expectations, marked the single biggest shopping day in e-commerce history.

So what should a pragmatic system admin do about this?

  • We don’t over sell your servers
  • Dont run bandwidth, CPU or any aspect of hosting at or near capacity
  • Monitor our servers and distribute load to make sure that when the big spike happens, we’re ready and your site stays up.