Strategies for graceful degradation
Up to this point, you’ve been reading about graceful degradation, what it can do for you, and how to go about planning and implementing it.
Next, we can talk about some overarching strategies. These are generalized ways to think about graceful degradation to help you identify valuable focal points in your own planning.
Load balancing and traffic shaping
This strategy focuses on communication resources, so let’s use your web page as an example. Customers utilize the web page, so you want it to show up on search engines and be accessible.
If your web pages or website infrastructure degrades, how does that impact the load and traffic capacity? How much traffic are you willing to lose for the sake of your degradation plan? Are those metrics different for mobile or desktop browser versions of the site?
This strategy focuses on traffic numbers as a guiding metric for degradation planning.
Caching and content delivery networks
Caching and content delivery strategies are similar to load balancing and traffic shaping, but the key metrics revolve around data management, rather than user interactions.
How much data is flowing through the network? What amount of degradation is acceptable?
The principles aren’t changing — only the key focus metrics.
Prioritizing essential services
With this strategy, it’s all about failure points. The goal is to ensure that any service deemed essential is functional and robust. When you consider various degradation scenarios, all of them keep the essential services running.
In this case, you aren’t planning around numerical metrics. Your absolute priority is the identified essential services.
Redundancy and failover systems
This aspect of graceful degradation starts to focus on disaster and recovery. You’re building around redundancy (which will depend on identified essential systems). In other words, you’re figuring out which systems need robust backups and which can be allowed to completely fail without exceeding your degradation limits.
With this plan, the majority of your resources are aimed at critical redundancies over anything else.
Maintain business continuity in the face of unforeseen events
There are a lot of ways to think about graceful degradation. When you consider it carefully, you will likely find that there is a version of the strategy that works for your operation.
Implementing graceful degradation is essential for businesses to ensure continuity and maintain operations in the event of operating system failures.
By prioritizing critical functions and operating systems and reducing the impact of failures, businesses can minimize disruptions and continue delivering services to customers.
While modern browsers and mobile devices offer better performance and reliability, it's important to ensure that the systems and services are accessible and functional across a range of platforms and mobile devices, including older browsers.
By following best practices and using appropriate tools, businesses can ensure that their services remain reliable and accessible, even in challenging situations and continue to meet the needs of their customers.
When it comes to detailing and implementing the plan, you want access to tools and resources that can help. For that, you can turn to Mailchimp.