advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Home Depot’s Weekend Noon Shutdown? It Made Perfect Clock Sense

Written by Evan Schuman
February 8th, 2012

Home Depot’s unusual move last week to shut down its site for 18 hours starting on Wednesday at noon was apparently done for some very logical reasons. The timing of the move raised eyebrows. Such shutdowns have historically been done overnight, perhaps starting at about 11 PM or midnight East Coast time, and during the weekend. Also raising eyebrows was why a planned software upgrade required the site to be taken down at all.

Given the home repair nature of Home Depot, weekend downtime can be more costly than a Wednesday or Thursday. As for the time, one Home Depot person said it was simply that mornings tend to be more revenue-intense on the retailer’s site than any other time of day. Therefore, the word was that mornings need to be preserved. Given that the upgrade was supposed to take 18 hours, the only way to try and preserve morning uptime was to start the shutdown at noon and hope that 18 hours didn’t grow.

Some E-Commerce folk still grumbled that sites today—with mirroring and cloud options—shouldn’t have to shut down at all for simple scheduled software upgrades.

Although there certainly is a lot to that argument, the cost and disruption of making those arrangements—plus the potential for lost or perhaps doubled transactions when the duplicate site is put up and then again when it is taken down—might have been seen as risky on its own. And given that it was indeed limited to 18 hours and brought relatively minimal risk, there’s an argument that Home Depot’s move was probably shrewd.

Should a $68-billion chain have to shut down for simple software upgrades? Probably not, but nor should it have to deploy an extensive system just to avoid it. Sometimes a shutdown to avoid issues shows a lot of wisdom.


advertisement

Comments are closed.

Newsletters

StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!
advertisement

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

StorefrontBacktalk
Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.