100% uptime is pure marketing. But why so?
You say it, I say it – everyone say it, 100% uptime this month. In the hosting industry, everyone, without exceptions, claims to have 100% uptime. It is almost hilarious, because it have become a truly technical term, without any reality behind it.
The server is turned on 100% of the time. We never shut it down!
I’m so sorry, of cause the server is always turned on, but is it always available – that should be the right question here.
Many of the major data centers are coming extremely close to achieving the 100% uptime, but at the same time – only extremely close to achieving it. When you read their printed statements, it says 100% uptime. Crazy good – or is it?
Have you ever heard any Internet Service Provider telling out loud that they lost connection, and was down for a period? Well it happens. When you read their uptime statements, they are as well often claiming “the network had 100% uptime”, for sure – in their own internal calculations.
The calculation of uptime versus downtime
More and more reputable companies are operating with a full disclosure on uptime, meaning if downtime do occur – and it does – they do credit you, and will most likely tell you the root cause. Some do even go further and credit you for the time you was placed offline. But here is the actual motivation for claiming 100% uptime: Downtime cost money, so they focus on ensuring that it won’t happen for many seconds.
Most datacenters are connected through multiple ISPs, so if one ISP is going offline, the traffic is automatically re-routed through another connection. This gives the data centers an head start on ensuring constant uptime. You as a user doesn’t experience the one second downtime, and for sure your tool to monetarize downtime doesn’t see it happening.
But there is a small loophole here. If you read through the contract with a data center, there are actually an option for them to take the server offline – while claiming 100% uptime: Routine maintenance.
Data centers today, are often managing the servers on behalf of the managed hosting provider. So if a data center informs about planned maintenance, the managed hosting provider gives the same claim towards you as a customer – and suddenly your website can go offline, without an reimbursement for being knocked offline.
Let’s say it as it is: Pure marketing stunts
In our industry, many companies operates with 99.995% – 99.999% uptime throughout a standard year. But again, it isn’t because the managed hosting provider necessary is online, they are just good at planning and informing you as a customer.
Secondary, for sure, the data center do ensure constant availablility through the software that automatically reroute traffic in case an ISP is getting disconnected.
Said with other words, 100% isn’t really a real thing, but a way of claiming and stating the hosting company has extended the average time between the failures. And that the faiures is hardly noticeable. The time in which the hosting center is able to get you as a client back online, is as well hardly noticeable. If the downtime is corrected effeciently, quickly and enough the satify the industry standards, then a colocation company can state they have maintained the 100% uptime – after a failure occured.
Uptime, in the perfect fantasy world
If everyting was perfect, 100% uptime could be achieved – but that is just not today, tomorrow or in the century. As long as network failures exists, then the closest you can get is 99.999% uptime. 100% simply doesn’t exist.
With that statement said, it isn’t impossible to gain the experience with enough safeguards in place to maintain each other, and replace another – giving the 100% uptime experience. And from that standpoint, the terms are only and purely made for marketing purposes, and not for the thousands of customers who every year have been kicked offline at least once.
Now, ask any reputable company to be upfront with you, you have a high change that they come clean at tells you about their 99.999% uptime, but many claims to have constant uptime.
99.999% uptime just isn’t cool – is it?
We are here talking about the human mind. 99.999% uptime just isn’t cool, but 100% uptime is cool. And why should anyone care about the last 0.001%?
Everyone knows how technology is failing at some point or another, and the downtime will occur. The biggest difference here, a reputable company will compensate you for your time offline. For us as a hosting company, uptime is all about ensuring connectivity.
We built our infrastructures and data centers with massive safeguards in place – backup disks, backup power, backup of the backup power, but when everything is said, if all ISP’s goes offline, we are bust in capabilities, no matter what. To the end user, thats all that matters – hosting centers don’t expect any downtime, but it is a matter of different technologies that keep everything alive.
100% uptime can’t be said in any way as misleading – it is just a way of saying “Our hosting center is awesome, and we are some of the best connected”.
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