Super Bowl Puts Websites to the Test Crash Highlights Importance of APM
February 08, 2016

Matt Jacobs

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Just seconds after her Super Bowl performance (and subsequent tour teaser), Beyonce – arguably today’s most popular pop artist – found her website "slayed" by an onslaught of traffic and connection failures – causing heartbreak for pop fans everywhere.

This outage illustrates that even the biggest celebrities and brands can easily find their digital performance put to the test. Today’s mobile apps and sites are complex beasts, and we imagine that Beyonce’s site was timed to be updated just immediately after her Super Bowl show. When you combine our biggest sporting event with 114 million viewers (over 1/3 of the U.S. population), with news from our most popular performer, you have a glitch just waiting to happen. There’s such a large amount of code and so many interdependencies in play.

Because there are so many elements that go into an application’s performance -- the network, storage, databases and more -- you need a system to monitor all of these interactions seamlessly in one dashboard, and most importantly, instantaneously identify and resolve glitches. Application Performance Management (APM), which is already used today by big brands to address performance bottlenecks -- solves these issues at scale for fast-growing audiences. While it’s critical that companies prepare their application architecture to handle load surges (like what Beyonce’s site experienced) and fix chokepoints, it’s even more important that any issues found be resolved quickly to keep consumers and fans happy.

We bet Queen Bey’s fans will forgive her, but for companies, every minute of downtime means a site is losing money. In fact, an IDC study last year found that application downtime costs the Fortune 1000 anywhere from $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion every year -- and critical application failure costs anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million per hour. Consumers usually won’t tolerate even the shortest outage. As the lines between personal, digital and physical experiences continue to blur, brands – which includes entertainers – must ensure their apps function at all times across multiple platforms.

Matt Jacobs is VP of Brand, Digital & Demand at AppDynamics.

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