Surviving the “Trump Effect”

Blog image As President Trump begins his administration, he continues to use a variety of channels to send messages about his thoughts and plans. These can take many forms – tweets, Executive Orders, even off-the-cuff comments in a speech or press conference. And we’ve seen the impact these communiques have had – moving stock prices, spurring protests, and generating press frenzies.

Most people simply observe these reactions – but some organizations have been majorly impacted by any of these acts by President Trump. This past weekend, for example, in the wake of President Trump’s Executive Order banning immigrant from predominantly Muslim countries, the ACLU found its website crashing under the load of handling an enormous spike in online donations.

So when an organization like the ACLU finds itself unexpectedly in one of these Trump effects – to its benefit or detriment – the IT staff may be under instant pressure to reinforce its systems to accommodate significant traffic surges. The following steps may help as a fast response:

  • Leverage cloud capacity – if there are resources already set up to run in the cloud, consider expanding capacity dedicated to those applications and data sources. Public-facing sites and applications in particular should be ready to take advantage of this kind of surge capacity.
  • Reinforce web resources – you can increase web server capacity fairly easily, leveraging additional hardware for scale out paired with TCP load balancers to distribute the load. Augmenting the infrastructure with additional horizontal scale out will help keep a public website that’s seeing major traffic surges online.
  • Focus on database resources – the database is often the weakest link in many organizations’ technology stacks. Without high-performing database, your apps and web servers will grind to a halt – and “slow” becomes the same as “down.” Monitor your databases’ performance, and, like with the web tier, consider adding more servers, as readable secondaries. ScaleArc can let you do database scale out with no application code changes, will distribute the load evenly, and will make database failovers invisible to your customers.
  • Monitor the complete application stack – look to Application Performance Monitoring software for a holistic view of your customers’ experiences. Where are the bottlenecks in your application’s overall performance? What recommendations can the software make for root cause and troubleshooting?

All of these actions, of course, are easier to undertake with some advanced warning. Any organization that anticipates it could be impacted by the Trump effect should plan ahead with these steps as much as practical. IT teams in such organizations should look across the full technology stack and identify quick steps they can take to make their systems more robust.

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