After a painfully long wait Pokemon Go finally launched in the UK yesterday following server issues that had plagued the US launch since last week. It seems that Nintendo and Niantic hadn’t anticipated the viral success of their mobile app, leading to many gamers seeing the following message upon logging in…”Our servers are experiencing issues. Please come back later”.
Despite the initial teething problems, the game is now the most popular mobile game in US history. Tech and gaming experts have been talking about AR for years but it appears that it has finally arrived for the mainstream. On paper it shouldn’t be as good as it is. It’s buggy, it crashes and it forces us to go outside and walk around. But we’re addicted - for the moment anyway.
But unless your app holds the same appeal as Pokemon, the likelihood is that users probably won’t come back later if your app goes down. And we’re not just talking about mobile applications but the many types of applications web users interact with on a daily basis.
So what questions should you ask yourself when selecting a hosting solution for your application?
1. How vital is it that your application is always available?
If your app is business critical, or if downtime could result in a significant amount of lost revenue, then high platform availability will be important to you. If this is a key requirement, don’t assume that resilience is built in as standard. You need to ask your hosting provider to identify single points of failure within your infrastructure and work together on a solution that fits your budget.
2. Is your application designed to be scalable?
Application architecture is key here. Our public cloud consultants often talk to developers who think that they can shift their app onto AWS and the platform will automatically scale - this is not necessarily the case. If your app isn’t designed to do this, you will have to look at other methods of achieving your uptime objectives.
3. How damaging is a disaster?
When the unpreventable happens, such as a fire or flood, how quickly do you need to be up and running before it becomes a serious problem? You could duplicate your entire infrastructure at another data centre to avoid this but that might be overkill for what you need. And how often do you need to back up your data? Are we talking minutes, days or hours? It depends on the damage it would cause to lose that data between backups.
4. Are you vulnerable to security threats?
The number of cyber attacks is growing and businesses need to assess this threat and take steps to lower the risk of data loss and downtime. Firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), DDoS Protection and the basics such as regular patching and updating of systems ensures a secure environment.
Once you’ve considered the above, you should have a better idea of what you’re looking for in a hosting platform.
Of course we’re always happy to chat to you more about this over a coffee. We’ll come to your office to see if there are any rare Pokemon there.