Hammering home the performance-performance-performance theme again and again, we’ve told the story of caching and protecting your backend many times. We’ve talked a lot about the ways in which Varnish Streaming Server lets you scale up to serve live and VoD streaming content no matter the demand on your platform. But a big part of this story is maximizing the power of the capacity you already have. Ultimately that is what caching is all about: you make copies of content you need to deliver so the copies are delivered, much faster than roundtrips to the backend could achieve while protecting the backend from overload.
Consulting firm Accenture has been discussing the importance of hyper-relevance in e-commerce and across online experiences. What is hyper-relevance? Essentially, it’s argued that we are moving beyond an age of personalization toward a more contextual and individual online (and in this case, shopping) experience. That is, personalization has not always performed well historically, whether because the company in question has the wrong or not enough information about the individual consumer to make personalization truly personal - or because the infrastructure powering sites that employ personalization has failed to deliver when the stakes were high.
As consumers, we expect to access any content we want on any device with within-millisecond-availability, playing on-demand. We don’t usually think about what is required technically to make this work. One of the biggest components in this equation is storage and the process of accessing selected content from storage to serve it. With massive libraries of both in-demand and long-tail content available, the challenges of high-performance, fast, available and consistent delivery are growing.
Every year around this time, companies start to tell (or be told) cautionary tales about the e-commerce ghosts of Black Fridays past. Here we mean recounting the calamitous failures of major online retailers, essentially falling short of a good customer experience or being completely unable to deliver website content at their biggest revenue-making moment of the year. And without fail, this pattern is repeated annually – both the cautionary pleas to take action against such catastrophes and the retailers who have somehow declined to take heed.