Uptime: Should We Be Jaded by the Statistics?

Uptime monitoring, server uptime, website uptime, or guaranteed uptime. We hear these terms all the time, and we see the statistics posted on the websites we visit or use for hosting. Technically we know what it means, but do we know practically? Does the one tenth of a percent, or even one thousandths of a percent even matter? Turns out It doesn’t really take much to make a big difference.

For most people it’s probably hard to comprehend the differences in numbers all so close to 100. Here’s a little table though, that shows how much time relates to an uptime stat:

Uptime statistics table

The smallest differences in percentage add up to a significant amount of time. One thousandths of one percent makes the difference between an irritating blip of a few minutes to almost an hour long outage over the course of a year. Just one tenth of a percent less and the outage lasts days and will certainly impact your bottom line and reputation.

While many may not realize the importance of differences in uptime statistics you can bet they’ll remember it if your website is down. If you’re a hosting company you can be sure your customers will notice as well. Accurately monitoring uptime and taking steps to ensure it remains high is an important part of any online business.

So next time you take a look at promised uptimes - or post your own - you’ll know exactly what it means in practical terms.

But what about all those websites and companies that post 100% uptime or promise it as a service level agreement? Is it possible to get to 100%, and is it worth the price?