In an email to affiliates / publishers this week, LinkShare’s co-Presidents (seems to be a popular trend with affiliate networks these days) laid out their plans to address the past downtimes and what the network is doing to head off any possible troubles during the holiday rush.
Even though this holiday shopping season is not expected to set record amounts of sells by any means, the November to January time frame normally is the boom time for affiliates and online merchants (especially in terms of retail merchants).
The full email is below…
Dear Valued Partners:
At this busy time of year for all of us, we wanted to take a moment to update you with some important information on how LinkShare is prepared to handle the expected increase in transaction volume in November and December.
Over the past several months we have experienced intermittent challenges with the performance and presentation of data in our reporting systems. First, we want to say thank you for your patience and your understanding as we have worked through these issues. Second, we want to emphasize that our core capability to capture and track clicks and transactions continues to be the most robust and precise in the industry.
We are happy to report that we have made great strides in all areas. Here is a summary of our current progress:
We recently identified and resolved a database problem that was preventing user access to our systems during peak usage times. Since implementing and monitoring this fix last week, we are confident that prolonged, unannounced downtimes are unlikely.
The intermittent downtime we were experiencing contributed in many cases to inconsistent data in our reporting systems. The interruption in sequence and flow of data from the main database (MainDB) to our reporting servers created a lag in the system’s ability to present the most up-to-date information. Now that data access issues have been resolved many of the reporting issues will also be resolved.
However, there are currently some infrequent, yet persistent inconsistencies in the data in SynergyAnalytics that we are investigating. We are also improving the performance of Traditional Reporting and working to resolve remaining data inconsistencies. We expect to make swift progress in these areas in the coming weeks.
Investing in the Future
Over the last 10 months, we’ve made significant investments in our systems. We have replaced our data center networks, reinforced our database systems, upgraded our ad and click servers, assigned additional servers to existing services to allow for increased capacity and automated fail-over, and installed a new software system to monitor and report on performance. These investments have prepared us to handle not only the additional load we expect in November and December, but well into the future.
In our effort to be as transparent as possible, we want to make you aware of some upcoming scheduled maintenance windows over the next few weeks:
Thursday, October 23, 2008 5:00pm – 9:00pm EDT (GMT-4) – Regularly scheduled software release.
Thursday, November 6, 2008 5:00pm – 8:00pm EST (GMT-5) – The last scheduled software release of the year.
On behalf of the entire team at LinkShare, we truly appreciate your business and your patience. We look forward to building even stronger partnerships and wish you strong sales during the 2008 holiday season.