Storm Frank and your digital infrastructure

Can your website cope with the digital storm of adverse weather in the real world?

Posted on 30 December 2015 - Hosting
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At the time of writing, the gale force winds and heavy rain of Storm Frank are battering the country. In the face of such might, there is little more that can be done to protect ourselves physically beyond battening down the proverbial hatches and, as police are recommending, avoiding non-essential journeys.

But as we are already seeing, damage to our physical infrastructure is inevitable: fallen trees and power lines, power cuts, flooding and road closures are all problems that we might encounter at present.


Something that is a little easier to protect at times like this is your digital infrastructure. In other words, giving your server, website and other infrastructure the resilience to cope with the conditions created by a storm.

Nowhere is this more important than in the energy sector, where adverse weather guarantees more traffic to a company’s website than at any other time of the year. We discuss in this case study of our work with Northern Ireland Electricity why it is so important for NIE’s website to be able to withstand the virtual battering it takes during a storm, when many of their hundreds of thousands of customers will want to access the site simultaneously.


Ensuring they are able to do so doesn’t change the physical effects of the storm, but it does allow them to keep lines of communication open, easily pass on information and advice to customers and ensure customers can promptly report new problems.

Of course, this is also important for websites in other sectors, not least the emergency services and transport companies. In fact, if bad weather either prevents you from performing a function you normally perform for the public or causes you to alter that function in any way, you can guarantee those people will be seeking information on: 

  • whether you’re still operating that function
  • when that function will resume operation, if you’re not operating it at present
  • what they should do if they were expecting to rely upon your ability to perform that function.

Ensuring you can get the answers to those and other questions to customers and potential customers will lower levels of frustration and protect your organisation’s reputation.