Santa Claus and the Myth of a Holiday Retail Season Without Network Downtime!

How the elves helped save the holidays with Out-of-Band Management!

In case you had not heard, Santa Claus was in a network downtime bind this year, but the elves and smarter-than-smart Out-of-Band Management (OOBM) helped him make it through the crisis and allowed him to stay on track during this busy holiday season.

Retail Network Downtime during Holidays

The crisis is a fairly common one nowadays with Black Friday, CyberMonday and the host of other special shopping days that retailers promote during the holiday season. This surge in digital commerce is not just a U.S. event. According to Inc., global digital sales revenue grew 24% to $20 billion with over a half billion global shoppers across more than 30 countries partaking in this seasonal surge of activity.

“Digital commerce continues to grow overseas this holiday as international retailers and consumers adopt traditions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that creates spikes in deals and demand,” says Rob Garf, Salesforce’s vice president of Strategy and Insights.

This all sounds like a dream come true for Santa, the elves and global retailers, but the dark cloud looming over retailers during this season is the fear that their systems may not be resilient enough to handle the increasing demand and may result in network downtime.

Retail Network Downtime

Target is a prime example, considering that the retail giant experienced multiple technical outages in 2019. In fact, its payment-processing system was down for more than a day last June. This outage cost Target an estimated US$100 million in sales and left customers feeling frustrated with their shopping experiences. Shares fell 2 percent after that incident. As recently as this past September, Target’s in-store registers and online services again were down for a few hours.

Target’s blackout is nothing new. According to a Logic Monitor report, almost 96 percent of IT decision-makers worldwide experienced at least one customer-impacting outage in the last three years. Just last Thanksgiving, retail giants J.CrewUlta, and Walmart experienced network downtime lasting from as little as a few minutes to several hours.

So far, the 2019 Online Sales Projections for the Cyber 5 show the growth in eCommerce sales (1). The concerns about outages and how to handle them will continue to be a topic discussed in retail sectors.

Online Sales

Santa had seen the retail projections, and he knew that his team at the North Pole had to be ready.  But how?  Santa did what many retail executives do; he went to his team of IT elves and asked them how to handle a digital transformation to accommodate increasing digital sales during holiday season.  Fred T. Elf, the head of IT at the North Pole, had the answer: IT Service Management (ITSM).  ITSM refers to the entirety of activities directed by policies, organized and structured in processes and supporting procedures that are performed by an organization to design, plan, deliver, operate and control information technology services offered to customers.

An essential component of any ITSM strategy is an OOBM solution.  The simplest description of OOBM is that it provides a secondary channel of communication to access and control infrastructure assets of the production network.  In the instance of a server outage during this holiday season and throughout the year, an OOBM Failover process is a protective feature that switches the primary operations on a computer server (or entire data center) to a redundant standby system or network through a cellular LTE router.

LTE offers temporary (backup) or permanent Internet connectivity.  In many instances, an LTE router can be used as a temporary Internet connectivity solution when the primary network infrastructure is not available.  In permanent or primary situations, small or mid-sized operations may opt for LTE connectivity due to a lack of wired connectivity options or because of the flexibility that a wireless connection provides.

After the outage is fixed, the Failback process is the reverse of the Failover process.  The failback recovery operation restores operations to the primary operating system and re-synchronizes the data using a cellular LTE router.

Using OOBM, Santa and his team of elves can handle an outage or network downtime caused by the demand of anxious parents getting their toy orders into the workshop or global retailers preparing for the demands of the holiday season.

Lantronix OOBM solutions are here to help Santa and retailers with their data center and remote site needs.  Whether you have a large global concern or are a small business retailer, Lantronix provides the products and expertise to help you make your customers’ digital commerce experience bright.  Check out Lantronix OOBM products here and find out more about the Failover/Fallback process in this blog.

Lantronix wishes you Happy Holidays and a Very Happy New Year.  And, as a gift for you last-minute shoppers, below is the Most Popular Tech Gifts in 2019 from Statistica (3). Happy retailing!

Most popular Tech gifts for 2019


(1)Digital Commerce 360


(3) Statista