Frequently asked questions about TrafficDefender's Virtual Waiting Room and queuing process

The primary purpose of TrafficDefender Virtual Waiting Room is to maximise your revenue by ensuring your website stays online and performing at its best when under high load.

Web traffic is unpredictable. As well as being influenced by your own marketing efforts, such as TV advertising or email campaigns, it can also spike when you get unexpected buzz from social media or other uncontrolled external factors. In some cases your IT team might not even be aware of your marketing team’s next major campaign.If your site were to slow down or crash at these times, there would be a direct loss of sales revenue. Any marketing activities would suffer from low ROI, the brand would be damaged and customers would be less likely to return after suffering from a poor experience. This whole effect is amplified due to the increased attention to the website during these times.

Those points aside, think about how long it would take you to fix the problem. How much resource would be used up? What would be the operational cost to the business?

TrafficDefender Virtual Waiting Room solves these problems by guaranteeing that an optimal amount of customers will continue to flow through your site even if the volume of traffic is greater than your capacity. You’ll be fully prepared to serve more customers in a faster time with ease and certainty.

TrafficDefender Virtual Waiting Room is ideal for any website or system that receives large spikes in traffic, putting its availability or performance at risk. This covers many industries, including retail and eCommerce, ticketing, media and broadcasting, education and government, to name a few.

There are many ways of engineering websites to be more scalable and robust against high volumes of traffic, and we’re not suggesting that you don’t do those things. However, TrafficDefender Virtual Waiting Room is that last line of defence against a site-crushing wave of traffic – think of it as an insurance policy for when all else fails or you get a spike that you just couldn’t have coped with otherwise.

Engineering highly scalable websites is a costly and time-consuming task that may not be feasible or cost-effective. Web traffic is unpredictable. Even when looking at traffic trends and analytics, the timing and size of peaks can change dramatically based on both expected and unexpected factors. It’s not always possible to know how much traffic to expect or when exactly it might hit your website. Because of this, it’s impractical and expensive to pay for the infrastructure needed to comfortably cope with your biggest “predicted” peaks all year round or to know how much traffic to load test for.

Peak Management allows you to maintain a right-sized infrastructure for your budget whilst giving you the ability to cope with the larger peaks in traffic associated with sales events and seasonal activity.

You wouldn’t. In real life no shop owner would ever want to put people in a waiting room, however waiting is a regular and accepted part of the physical world and an essential way of ensuring an efficient flow of customers.

A Virtual Waiting Room carries out the same role in the virtual world. Queueing customers when there are too many to be able to manage effectively and efficiently allows for the optimal overall throughput of customers. A better way of thinking of the problem would be to think about why you wouldn’t put your users in a queue in a situation where the alternative would be complete website failure and therefore no customers getting the outcome and experience they want and that you want to provide.

We see having a Virtual Waiting Room as an insurance policy you don’t necessarily want to use, but should always have. Virtual Waiting Room’s functionality is a last resort. We would advise any business to do all they can to ensure their website is prepared well ahead of time to gracefully handle the amount of traffic they are expecting to receive at any given time. However, even with a plan in place, there is always a limit to any website’s capacity and therefore the chance that it will receive more traffic than it can physically handle.

TrafficDefender Virtual Waiting Room is there as the ultimate insurance policy so that even if all else fails and a website simply can’t cope with the amount of traffic hitting it, it will always be online and performing well for as many visitors as possible.

The alternative to queuing (aside from allowing the site to go offline entirely) would be to just stop new visitors from entering the site and asking them to “come back later”. However, studies have shown that people are much happier to wait if they know how long their wait is going to be. Virtual Waiting Room’s gives this transparency to those waiting to enter a site and confidence that they will get onto the site if they stay in the queue.

You can also use the waiting room to reinforce your branding through images and videos.

For many older systems this is not necessarily an option, systems have to be built and configured to be able to scale automatically.

Likewise, while it’s true that cloud-based solutions allow you to scale up your infrastructure on demand, this is not an instant process. It takes several minutes to spin up the additional capacity and “warm up” load balancers in order for them to be effective. In the case of “cliff face” spikes, such as traffic from a TV advert where we often see 40-50 times usual traffic within seconds, autoscaling just can’t react quickly enough to help.

TrafficDefender Virtual Waiting Room reacts instantly when a sudden spike in traffic hits, keeping the site online at all times for those already browsing. This actually compliments any autoscaling you might have in place. Content