‘Downtime’, one word which is enough to run chills through the spines of IT managers AND website owners.
But as a matter of fact, downtime can be categorized primarily into two components: Planned and Unplanned. Ideally, planned downtime is controlled and measures can be taken to get the system back online in a scheduled time. While, unplanned is something which isn’t anticipated in the first place, steps are taken to find and fix the flaws that resulted in a downtime.
As a matter of fact, various components team-up for a system to run efficiently, i.e. Network, Hardware, Software, Firewall etc. Downtime (unplanned) can usually occur when any of these components fail, while incase of serious downtime, it’s mainly the Network or the Hardware failure are to be blamed.
AND, to avoid such an unanticipated downtime, planned OR scheduled, maintenance of these components becomes crucial. At times even the system may need to be taken offline, in an effort to avoid the occurrence of failure due to known possibilities.
In case of an unplanned one, one cannot really be sure about when the system might go down AND for what duration, it’s beyond the control of the IT department. The reasons may be as small as failure of RAM to natural calamities such as earthquake, fire of whatever. Therefore, whichever it be – planned or unplanned, it’s bound to affect the system hence the processes it runs.
BUT, what we can control are the measures considering the situation when the failure strikes.
So, how can one keep the downtime under Control?
ONE, choose the host that has his servers geographically located in a datacenter which doesn’t have a history of natural calamities. Though one still can’t be 100% sure, yet it’s advisable to check if they have ample measures in place to tackle adverse situations.
This was about what to expect from the service provider, but if you are running a crucial business site/application, it’s your duty as well to take precautionary measures. Setting up a fail-over system in other DC can be the safest and easier choice for you to ensure that the business doesn’t get affected with the disasters that may strike. In this case, if the primary system goes down due to any reason, the fail-over system directs all the traffic/requests to the secondary system.
TWO. There’s a famous old saying ‘A stitch in time, saves Nine!’, it actually holds true in IT too. If you allow a known glitch in the system to stay there, eventually it may grow to a degree where it becomes difficult to manage.
Therefore a systematic routine maintenance of the system can help you keep achieve performance efficiency of the system. Having done that, it’s also advisable to have a backup system in place. It can prove to be one of the most effective disaster recovery measures in adverse conditions.
THREE: Say your network is up, the server and the other components of the system are working just fine, yet the performance that you are accustomed to isn’t upto the mark. You’ve checked nearly everything pertaining to the system, yet you are unable to find the root cause of the performance lag. Well, did you happen to check the load on the system?, most probably no. A highly loaded system too can be one of the reasons for an ill performing system. Heavy load can cause a system to stall AND even crash, unless you have an H/A configured. H/A or high availability empowers reliability and involves load balancers setup to distribute load across the system using a method called as heartbeat.
What does Availability or Uptime mean? and How do we measure it ?
Well, uptime or availability is the percentage of time when the system is efficiently functional. The following table should make it simple for you to understand the correlation of availability vs. downtime
|Availability (%)||Average Annual Downtime|
|99%||87 hrs, 40 mins.|
|99.5%||43 hrs, 50 mins.|
|99.9%||8 hrs, 46 mins.|
|99.95%||4 hrs, 23 mins.|
|99.995%||26 mins, 18 secs.|
|99.999%||5 mins, 16 secs.|
If you need any information wrt. ways to keep the downtime low, please feel free to contact our technical department via. live chat or by raising a with sales ([email protected]). We’d be glad to assist you with the appropriate solutions that ensures maximum uptime and availability for your business.