Last week on the Hangout we discussed how to load test before a big event. As part of that discussion, we mentioned the need to run a “fire drill,” to practice what to do in the event that traffic spikes above a certain threshold and the site goes offline.
For this week’s Hangout, we walk through the steps to do just that. If you missed the show, I’ve linked to a few highlights, embedded the full video and an audio-only version below.
Fire drills as an analogy
The inspiration for fire drills comes from school-age fire safety education. I shared a story about my son’s sudden interest in fire safety, and how fire drills are very similar to to the steps we can take to proactively prepare for those “what if” moments. Fire drills are all about practicing — and hoping you’ll never have to execute the plan. I recommend trust, but verify — trust your plan will work, but test to verify that it does.
What’s in a fire drill?
The components of the fire drill process include:
- Know your site
- Review each component & have a fall back
- Identify choke points
- Verify monitoring solution
- Agree on a collaboration platform
- Brand a “Sorry Page”
- Your team needs to know the plan
- Know your escalation path
- Practice fire drill
While this is a long list of areas to address, it’s just an example. Each individual fire drill will be different, so we recommend building your own fire drill playbook from scratch. As always, we recommend contacting your account team to work with you on the plan.