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How to Prepare for a High Traffic Event

8 min read


High traffic events happen and it's important to prepare for them! Knowing the process is the first step in ensuring your environments are scalable to the anticipated increase in traffic. Along with providing you the Load Preparedness Form, the below article will walk you through the process of how to alert SAP of your anticipated event, as well as provide guidance regarding what is acceptable and what you can expect from SAP. 

Table of Contents

Understanding the Acceptable Use Policy

All SAP Customer Data Cloud Licensed Customers should be (somewhat) familiar with the Acceptable Use Policy as this is something agreed upon as part of the software license agreement. Essentially the Acceptable Use Policy outlines what is considered to be fair use of the platform on the basis of API calls and Number of Contacts per license type. 

(example below for SAP Customer Data Cloud-B2C)

Ensuring fair use and compliance to these metrics is key to the success of all customers relying on the SAP Customer Data Cloud platform everyday and rate limits are enforced to ensure that any customers who may abuse this Acceptable Use Policy (willingly or unwillingly) do not negatively impact other customer implementations using the shared platform infrastructure. 

While this policy is in place, it is important to recognize that there is some level of flexibility in regards to how SAP handles monitoring. This means that while a customer who is licensed for 5M Contacts and are allotted up to 50 logins/second via the policy, it does not automatically mean that if they suddenly reach 51 logins/second, they will hit a rate limit error. 

Why, you may ask? There are a few other factors/scenarios that are also considered: 

  1. Assessment of Infrastructure Risk - Is the platform able to scale comfortably to meet the increased load? 
  2. Assessment of Customer Risk - Does the customer typically hit this kind of traffic? If the customer usually hits 10 logins/second and all of sudden the customer is hitting 51 logins/second - this may raise red flags. 
  3. Action Taken on the Basis of all Available Information - Has the customer alerted us of this anticipated spike in traffic and was it approved? If yes, the monitoring team will continue to allow these API calls to be processed. If no, rate limits are likely.  

As you may now understand, the Acceptable Use Policy isn't always black and white but it is a good framework to understanding what is acceptable for your tenant based on your software license agreement. 

What is Considered a High Traffic Event?

A High Traffic Event is considered any planned event that anticipates significant traffic spikes to your site or application. Examples include, load testing, live television broadcasts, and e-commerce events (i.e. sales and time limited promotions). 

Regardless if you are still within test environments or production, the process for preparing for high traffic events is the same.

When to Notify SAP?

As a rule of thumb, any planned events where a customer anticipates having spiked traffic above what is deemed fair in the Acceptable Use Policy should ensure that they notify SAP of the planned event and request permission to go beyond the Acceptable Use Policy and your licensing agreement by submitting a completed Load Preparedness Form (see downloadable file below) within the following guidelines. 

Complete and Submit the Load Preparedness Form via a Launchpad Support Ticket:

  • At LEAST 10 business days prior to traffic events expecting less that 1,000 Logins/Second
  • At LEAST 6 Weeks prior to traffic events expecting greater than 1,000 Logins/Second

Additionally, if you are a customer who historically hits, for example, 10 Logins/Second and you have a planned event with an anticipated spike of 4X that load (40 Logins/Second) - it is also encouraged to let SAP know of this anticipated spike so that our monitoring teams understand that this increased traffic is expected and not tied to a malicious attack. 

What Happens if the Request is Denied?

It is important to recognize that not all request for increased traffic spikes can be approved as the best interest of ALL customers will need to be weighed against each request submitted. However there are ways to help increase your chances of getting approvals on your request:

Ensure that increased rate limits you are requesting are reasonable and backed with facts. If your site typically hits 20 logins/second and you are requesting a traffic spike of 1200 logins/second, expect that the support team is going to ask questions around how you have produced your estimations. 

Be flexible. Recognize that some high traffic events may affect specific industries/multiple customers. For example, if you are a retail customer and are expecting increased traffic during Black Friday, it is important to recognize that many other customers will also be expecting higher than usual traffic. In these situations it is even more necessary to ensure well-calculated estimations of traffic spikes as well to be flexible with our support team who will be weighing all the requests for increased traffic against what is possible within the infrastructure. Keep in mind, SAP WANTS YOU TO HIT YOUR ANTICIPATED SPIKE TARGETS - we may just need to negotiate a bit on the rate limits (if above the Acceptable Use Policy) that can be approved. 

Cost Implications

It is also important to note that any request for rate limit increase greatly beyond the Acceptable Use Policy, may result in a fee. Please discuss your request with your SAP Project Manager or Customer Engagement Executive to better understand any cost implications. 

Rarely are requests outright denied by SAP, however it is more common that the customer and SAP will align on a new agreed upon approach to handling the increased traffic. This generally results in a lesser rate limit than originally requested but still something that is within reason of the request. In this scenario, it is important to understand that if traffic should spike over the agreed upon rate limit, it may result in rate limit errors. 

The Process for Preparing for a High Traffic Event

The process for preparing necessary forms and submitting the launchpad support ticket should take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour of effort.

  1. Download the Load Preparedness Form and Complete all Fields:

Download the Load Preparedness Form

Load Preparedness Form_BLANK.pdf (Click to Download)


2. Open an SAP Launchpad Support Ticket with the subject: HIGH TRAFFIC EVENT: Load Preparedness Form. (Don't Forget to Submit within the Necessary Lead Time Requirements)

3. If in active SAP-led implementation, notify your SAP Project Manager or Implementation Consultant. Share the Launchpad Support Ticket Number. If in a partner-led implementation or if you have already implemented your solution, notify your SAP Customer Engagement Manager (CEE). 






Conclusion

Preparation is key when it comes to High Traffic Events. In this article you should have learned all about the Acceptable Use Policy and how to prepare for upcoming high traffic events. 

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