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Data Centers and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
What every company can learn about scalability and cloud computing from "Star Wars"

By David Liggitt · 12/17/2015

Unless you've been frozen in carbonite for the past month or two, you've likely noticed there is a new Star Wars movie coming out this Friday. Movie theater owners are expecting to make $100 million during Star Wars: The Force Awakens' opening weekend based on ticket presales. Many of those came from online orders that famously crashed multiple movie ticket websites in the U.S. and in the U.K. back in late October.

In our highly-connected world, Star Wars fans no longer wait hours in line to pick up tickets from the cinema's box office on the movie's opening day like our parents did. All we need today is a computer or smartphone and a decent Internet connection to purchase movie tickets. However, that sci-fi experience of skipping the long lines at the box office is only possible because of thousands of servers in multiple data centers. No matter if the online ticketing is done from an app on your phone or webpage on your laptop—those requests are all processed in a data center.

If there's one thing that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens online ticket presale has taught data center users, it's the importance of being able to increase workloads quickly based on demand. One popular chain of movie theaters provisioned 40 web servers just to meet their projected demand for Star Wars tickets. But the flood of simultaneous hits to the ticketing website in the minutes after the presale began was still overwhelming, taking the site down while technicians worked to add capacity.

While some might consider this as a one-time phenomenon (i.e. websites crashed from pent-up demand to see the first new Star Wars movie in ten years), retailers contend with scalability issues annually on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So, companies needing colocation or cloud computing infrastructure are best served by planning for scale. IT professionals searching for scalable data center solutions must first understand the provider's capabilities, the fiber and power infrastructure in the region, and available capacity.

At datacenterHawk, we have the hard-to-find information on the top cloud computing and colocation providers along with where they connect to Internet exchanges, carrier hotels, and electrical substations throughout the U.S. and Canada. You can get access to our powerful yet simple tools today by signing up for a free trial at

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