Thursday, August 10, 2006

Up-time & down-time

Recent shutdowns of various systems @ CSL (last weekend, everything from phones to systems - only CONSULS, iCONN, & WebJunction were up - website, email, and our CSL network resources - were all unavailable due to electrical work being done... last week & this week, as the CONSULS catalog has been going through an upgrade, we had brief periods during which it was taken offline) have reminded me of the ongoing struggle to reduce down-time. With web-based services more heavily relied upon than ever (if we're successful as webmasters, that is!) it's increasingly important that our systems run 24x7 and do so as reliably as possible.

So what about these ISPs/vendors that promise us, say, 99.9% uptime. Sounds impossibly good, doesn't it? Well, I did the math (365 1/4 days per year x 24 hours a day = 8766 hours) & 99.9% uptime means having 8.766 hours of downtime per year - this means one workday. A lot more than I thought! So anything less than 99.9% uptime is even more unacceptable.

Yes, ideally that time would occur in non-working hours - say, the wee hours of the morning, but the vendors don't give us those kinds of promises, generally speaking. If your vendor only promises 99.5% uptime - it means that they're promising to only be down, at most, 43.83 hours a year - more than a working week! Just something to think about...

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