Web hosting provider Digital Island is offering a new service to help online retailers reduce downtime over Christmas.
Intelligent Traffic Management (ITM) is a web-based global load balancing and traffic management product offered as part of the 2Manage family of services. It offers IP traffic management and control over geographically distributed internet services and applications.
ITM is based on technology developed by Digital Island, which works by continuously monitoring the conditions of the internet and the performance of a company's geographically dispersed servers. The product then directs end user page requests to the site destination best able to meet demand.
As it is a web-based service there is no need for hardware or software installation at the customer site, but it does require some changes to a company's domain name system set-up.
In a study last month, Verdict Research found that UK consumers are expected to spend £26bn in December in both online and offline shopping with the last quarter of the year traditionally accounting for 30 per cent of retail sales.
Analyst Gartner has estimated that online retailers could lose around £6bn this Christmas because of website usability defects that prevent shoppers from making purchases.
Nigel Stokes, chief executive at DataMirror, a vendor of data resilience software, said: "Retailers know that a busy Christmas is key to a successful year, but they must have adequate precautions in place to prevent IT failures from holding back their businesses.
"Adequate downtime precautions are as vital to successful retailers as holding the right inventory and correctly training staff.
"System downtime can seriously undermine a retailer's ability to collaborate and communicate effectively, not just with potential customers, but also with suppliers."
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