Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Eclipse Madness and the Importance of Scale

Rudy Lukez
Director, ERP Product Marketing, Oracle

When the solar eclipse traveled eastward across the United States on Monday, it was as dramatic as advertised. But more drama unfolded on the highways and empty spaces of the American heartland, of a much less enjoyable kind.

Hours after the eclipse ended and observers began leaving their outposts, The Denver Post reported gasoline and food shortages, coupled with monumental traffic jams.

The state of Wyoming, a destination for many who wanted to experience the total eclipse, has 585,000 residents with 206,000 registered cars. Over the weekend, there was an increase of 217,000 vehicles on its highways—more than doubling the state’s total volume.

Businesses along the highways in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska were turning away customers simply because they couldn’t supply the demand. Restrooms were overwhelmed. Small cities across Wyoming reported a doubling and even tripling of their populations.

The entire infrastructure in the region was overwhelmed, and in places came to a complete standstill.

The August 21 celestial event was not, of course, a sudden or unscheduled event. People had been planning to attend this spectacle for years. But the infrastructure and supply chain were not significantly modified to handle the predicted interest.

Physical infrastructure, of course, is rarely designed for predicted peaks or maximum usage. The baseline is an acceptable level of service, set well before the first shovel of dirt is turned. When that baseline is exceeded, problems predictably occur: slower speeds, frustrated users, increased user costs, and wasted time.

Sound familiar?

Congestion on the Information Highway

For those of us who work with technology on a daily basis, we know that increased traffic often leads to slower speeds. This is often because the technology runs on corporate systems limited by hardware capacity, license counts and database deployments. On go-live day, these on-premises systems run well. One year later they start to struggle, unable to handle increased demand, added users and throughput processing. They can’t scale to support your growth.

Businesses need flexibility to handle growth—unique events (such as order surges on Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays) or dramatic hiring when the business is exponentially growing. There is often little to no time (or budget) for companies to upgrade infrastructure to handle these situations.

Growing companies cannot shut down or limit their sales. When Cyber Monday happens, firms cannot be like a gas station that runs out of fuel and turns away business.

This is why scalability is vitally important for cloud applications. In many respects, scalability is just as important as security, features, functionality and platforms. If your applications cannot scale in the cloud, it is difficult to scale your business. If you cannot scale, you limit your growth—and your revenue.

Millions and Millions of Transactions per Hour

360 million transactions per hour—it’s a big number, almost difficult to comprehend. It’s more than the 2016 population of the United States (320 million). 

360 million per hour is the tested transactional rate of Oracle ERP Cloud running complex financial transactions across many companies and ledgers. Yet it’s more than a number. It’s also an insurance policy.

Growth Insurance for Your Business

When you use business applications that scale at this level, you never need to worry about capacity and growth. Companies running their business applications in the Oracle Cloud don’t worry about whether they can handle the next Cyber Monday, or undertake an acquisition that doubles their company’s size and geography overnight.

Unlike the thousands of people who travelled to Wyoming and other states for this week’s astronomical celebrations, the cloud infrastructure delivered by Oracle is always there to support future opportunities—next week or next year. And when the next cross-country American eclipse arrives on April 8, 2024, you’ll be ready for any business opportunities it might bring.  

Read more in this paper, "High Volumes at High Velocity."

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