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Outage Tech Yellow

What Happens When Cannabis Technologies Go Down?

05.08.20234 min read

The Outage Heard Round the Industry

Anyone who works in cannabis likely heard the news that Dutchie, the largest eCommerce technology in the cannabis industry, went down for several hours on April 20, 2023. According to MJBizDaily, the outage was caused by a “series of cascading failures” that included downed servers and platform errors. One retail worker described it as “a complete disaster” on what was supposed to be the biggest industry day of the year. While outages can and do happen, particularly during peak times, how to mitigate them separates the good technologies from the great.

Most cannabis technologies are built within a monolithic framework, and Dutchie is no different. Monoliths offer a one-size-fits-all approach to technology that is inherently troublesome, including degraded system performance and stability issues as companies add bloat to an already overweight infrastructure. In place of monoliths, Salve recommends that cannabis operators house their operational data in an infrastructure built for redundancy, such as a microservices environment.

In instances like what happened with Dutchie, a microservices framework could have isolated the issues that led to the outage. A modular architecture like the one Salve offers would have turned off the affected parts of the infrastructure without the customer even realizing it. Orders would have continued as usual online and in-store, with Salve storing all order data until the outage was resolved. After the fact, Salve's support team can reconcile and resolve the effects of outages as long as the core technologies stay online. 

How Microservices Mitigates Outages

Salve's microservices environment stores all data associated with integration partners in a "queue" that operates independently from core functionality and contains data from every integration. The benefit of this system is that it can hold a lot of data from each customer interaction while waiting for an outage to resolve. 

During integration outages, Salve's managed services team works confidently with the affected parties to ensure the continuity of the operation. We can reroute workflows efficiently, turn integrations on and off, and take other necessary measures to minimize the impact of interruptions. Once the outage is resolved, queued data is sent to the appropriate integration service, such as compliance, order fulfillment, or delivery, as if the outage never occurred. Salve then works with operators to thoroughly reconcile all data in the ecosystem, ensuring the necessary data and workflows were executed properly. 

It's typical for integrations or partner technologies to go down, like state tracking systems, POS systems, marketplaces, or other eCommerce solutions. The industry is seeing a rise in outage technologies that essentially "plug the hole" when essential integrations go down. In highly-regulated environments like cannabis, which is constantly evolving and changing – redundancy is critical. It's important to rely on an ecosystem that can quickly adapt to new regulations and market demands while remaining online. 

If you want to learn more about Salve's microservices approach to redundancy and how to enable it in your cannabis operation, contact us and let's chat.

Niki Avatar

Niki Rogers

CEO / Co-Founder @Salve

Niki is a serial entrepreneur and cannabis enthusiast with a passion for storytelling through branding and UI/UX design.

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