Uptime – the general acronyms in the Internet world that define the availability and accessibility of the services in percentage (%) per month guaranteed by service provider.
Most service provider will provide 2 kind of uptime guarantee – Server Uptime and Network Uptime. Server Uptime defines the service availability of the physical server itself which host your website, emails and database. Network Uptime would define the network connectivity on the service’s provider data center. The average industry standard for Server Uptime is 99.5% while Network Uptime is slightly higher at 99.95% and this 2 value does not include any scheduled maintenance by the service provider. You can find both of this value usually on the provider’s website.
99.5% uptime would means your service provider should not suffer more than 3.6 hours of downtime per month before they breach the SLA guarantee that allows you to issue a outage event credit (OEC) claim to them – or in other words, downtime compensation. 99.95% would give a max of downtime 5.04 minutes are allowed per month.
Downtime calculation as below:
the total number of minutes in a month x (100-uptime%)/100
= 30days x 24hours x 60min x (100-99.5)/100
= 43200 x (0.5)/100
= 216 minutes (3.6 hours)
So why does this 2 uptime SLA is so important for a website. For business and ecommerce website, a single minute of downtime would means a potential lost of a prospect and customer. They may just bring their sales to your competitor. Imagine, when a potential buyer see your marketing ads and interested with your offer, just as they are trying to complete the order, the website is not responding and goes down – how bad would that be as it brings a very bad business reputation to your business. Frequent of service downtime would also affect the search engine ranking as the crawler cannot access to your website when they try to index your web pages, resulting in a lower search engine ranking.
To ensure business owner knows something has gone wrong on the website at any time, business owner can sign up for 24×7 website monitoring service to run a frequent service check and receive instant notification whenever the business website is down. Most of the website monitoring service provider will also monitor mail service such as POP3, SMTP and IMAP other than just HTTP website monitoring. This provider have their monitoring sensors deployed across the globe which will give a very accurate alert to you. Of course, there should be an action derive to react what action should be taken when the alerts comes in such as fail over the website on another server or location, escalate to senior webmaster or contact your web host to help you to check on the root cause.
If you are looking for a new host to setup your new website or you already have an existing website running online, uptime SLA should always be the first important aspect to come into your mind before you hit the payment button. If you have missed this important key aspect prior to this, it might be a good idea to go back to your provider and ask for it.