Stabilize Your Bridge
Website fault tolerance is critical. Your website is more than just a series of pretty pages. It’s a bridge, connecting your enterprise to all of your customers, and to all of those visitors who could turn into customers if given the chance. Because this bridge plays such a vital role for you, every aspect of it can and should be optimized to improve the visitor experience. This can often lead to a focus on cosmetic changes, making sure that first impression your bridge provides is eye-catching and engaging, but all your work to make a beautiful website won’t mean a thing if it crashes on your customer, or even just freezes up a little.
As much as enterprises think they’re prepared, when a big sale day like Black Friday rolls around, there are always websites that crash under the weight of massive traffic spikes. When that happens, it doesn’t matter what your PR team says, the customer base will be mad, and many of them will shop elsewhere. According to a Marketing Bulldog study, more than 70% of customers who expressed unhappiness with a website’s performance indicated that they were more likely to buy from a competing site. There are other beautiful websites out there, and if your website can’t handle increasing customer traffic, then that traffic is going to stop increasing.
This is where website fault-tolerance comes in. Traditional networks are built around key centralized servers which function as the brain of the network. The idea here is to put everything your website needs in one place and then do everything necessary to secure these critical servers. As performance needs grow and security threats evolve, companies attempt to keep their infrastructure relevant by applying patches and add-ons of increasing sophistication and complexity, using all of their resources to make sure those central servers never go down.
These bandaid solutions fail to address the inherent weakness in this architectural design. No matter how reinforced it is, the centralized nature of this design creates a single point of failure. So when an unexpected event crashes that server, and inevitably something will, it can bring your entire website down with it.
Fault Tolerance at the Edge
The solution is to go serverless, by moving your website to a modern edge network. Rather than relying on a handful of centralized servers, an edge network is made up of thousands of small nodes (edge locations) operating in the boundary spaces closest to your end-users. These edge locations are each configured to do their own load balancing, offering a heightened level of flexibility and connection speed to website visitors. More than that, edge locations take website fault-tolerance to a new level of stability by implementing extreme redundancy measures.
In a properly maintained edge network, the many edge locations that compose it all conform to the same standard, meaning that aside from differences in location, each node is equivalent in capability to every other. This is how edge networks are able to implement extreme redundancy. Where a server based network has a single point of failure, an edge network has a thousand points of failure, but a version of failure that means nothing to the larger system. With so many equally functional nodes, if a single one crashes or is brought down by an attack, any traffic it handles can be immediately shunted to a neighboring node, preventing the user experience from being compromised while the damaged node is brought back online. In this model, failures aren’t feared, they’re expected. Instead of devoting all energy and resources to avoiding them, the edge network is built to make such failures irrelevant. If a servered network is a singular entity, an edge network is more like a hivemind, a thousand smaller things working in concert to create something far greater than the sum of its parts.
The Azion Edge Platform
The Azion Edge Network is a top-tier interpretation of this harmless failures principle. We’ve built a distributed network focused on speed, security, and fault-tolerance, with edge locations throughout the United States and around the globe. Our edge locations are remotely deployable, and come equipped with Azion Load Balancer, a load balancing tool custom built to handle traffic at the edge. The zero-touch provisioning of our edge applications ensures that your website can scale quickly and efficiently to meet growing demand.
Putting all of your eggs in one basket by relying on centralized servers is no longer a viable way to ensure website stability. No fortification is impregnable, and no matter the security or fail-safes, eventually the server will go down. Edge networks embrace this fact and trivialize such an event by rendering any single server non-critical to the larger operation of the network. Whether you take advantage of Azion’s distributed, fault-tolerant capabilities, or another offering, move your website infrastructure to the edge today, to make that bridge to your customers, solid, stable, and trustworthy.