The myth of 99.99% uptime

Most of the hosting providers promise you an uptime of 99.99% and that very appealing to anyone.potential1[1]

But did you bothered to do the math ?

365 days in one year x 24 hours a day x 60 minutes a day = 525600 minutes in one year

From 525600 we have to extract 0.01% the downtime of that network and see how much is it.

So (525600 minutes in one year x 0.01 down time) / 100 = 52.56 minutes#

Until now the math checks out so in conclusion the down time of a network will be 52.56 minutes, a network that promises you 99.99% uptime

Well it seems like that number is still too big but from the perspective of a network administrator that number is very very very small.

Why ? It’s very simple.

Network components break down.

Cables, switches, routers, servers, server components, UPS and so on (the list is too big to write it now)

Any component requires time to be replaced on any segment of the network.

Lets take example the simplest UTP cable or the patch as everyone calls it.

A patch is a UTP cable used to connect network components common use connects a server to a switch or a router.

Looks like a simple component but a very important one piece.

If that cable fails the connection between the server and switch/router breaks and as a result the server will be offline from the network.

Solution is very simple, replace the cable, but for that you will need someone to do it. In ideal conditions the techy will do this in no more the 5 minutes, time needed to identify the problem, get the new cable, go to the fault, take out the faulty cable and replace it with the new one.

In not so ideal conditions the techy is out to lunch, or he doesn’t have a patch made, or he misplaced the key to the spare parts cabinet or any other unforeseen event will increase the time until fixing the problem up to 10 – 20 minutes and that if you are in business hours.

Imagine what will happen if a fault will occur outside business hours or in the middle of the night, how fast do you think that the fault will be fixed ?

Given this scenarios in ideal condition on a simple fault it takes 5 minutes to resolve it so that gives as 10 faults a year to stay in the 0.01% down time.

In the “not so” ideal conditions in business hours we have an average of 15 minutes to fix the fault so that gives as not more the 3.4 faults to stay in the 0.01% down time.

If we are out of business hours I imagine that at some point it can take even 1 hour to fix a problem (the techy is home, or is sleeping and he doesn’t hear the alarm), so basically in this case we are already over the 0.01% down time just for one fault.

Now… after reading this, what do you think? is there such a thing as 99.99% uptime ?


Shared web hosting service

shared web hosting service or virtual hosting service or derive host refers to a web hosting service where many websites reside on one web server connected to the Internet. Each site “sits” on its own partition, or section/place on the server, to keep it separate from other sites. This is generally the most economical option for hosting, as many people share the overall cost of server maintenance.

The hosting service must include system administration since it is shared by many users; this is a benefit for users who do not want to deal with it, but a hindrance to power users who want more control. In general shared hosting will be inappropriate for users who require extensive software development outside what the hosting provider supports. Almost all applications intended to be on a standard web server work fine with a shared web hosting service. But on the other hand, shared hosting is cheaper than other types of hosting such as dedicated server hosting. Shared hosting usually has usage limits and hosting providers should have extensive reliability features in place.[1]

Shared hosting typically uses a web-based control panel system, such as cPanel, DirectAdmin, Plesk, InterWorx, H-Sphere or one of many other control panel products. Most of the large hosting companies use their own custom developed control panel.[2] Control panels and web interfaces can cause controversy however, since web hosting companies sometimes sell the right to use their control panel system to others. Attempting to recreate the functionality of a specific control panel is common, which leads to many lawsuits over patent infringement.[3]

In shared hosting, the provider is generally responsible for managing servers, installing server software, security updates, technical support, and other aspects of the service. Most servers are based on the Linux operating system and LAMP (software bundle), which is driven by the reliability and security of open source software such as Linux and Apache (the ‘L’ and ‘A’ of LAMP). Some providers offer Microsoft Windows-based or FreeBSD-based solutions. For example, the Plesk control panel is available for two operating systems, Linux and Windows. Server-side facilities for either OS have similar functionality (for example: MySQL (database) and many server-side programming languages (such as the widely used PHP web programming language) under Linux, or the proprietary SQL Server (database) and ASP.NET programming language under Windows).

There are thousands of shared hosting providers in the United States alone. They range from mom-and-pop shops and small design firms to multi-million-dollar providers with hundreds of thousands of customers. A large portion of the shared web hosting market is driven through pay per click (PPC) advertising or Affiliate programs while some are purely non-profit.[4]

Shared web hosting can also be done privately by sharing the cost of running a server in a colocation centre; this is called cooperative hosting.