Understanding what Server Downtime Is and How to Minimize It

The terms “website downtime” and “server downtime” seem to be used interchangeably for some people, but the fact of the matter is that these two issues are actually very different in nature. Website downtime happens when a website goes down, whether it be due to hackers, traffic overload, software failure, etc. Server downtime, on the other hand, happens when the server that a site is hosted on goes down, due to things like power or hardware failures. If a website goes down, the site must be assessed and the error fixed within the site (or the site’s hosting plan if the downtime is due to using more than the allocated bandwidth). If a server goes down, then the issue affecting the actual server needs to be fixed, whether that means just means plugging something back in or replacing or repairing server hardware. While not all website downtime is caused by server downtime, all instances of server downtime will result in website downtime. If you want to minimize your server (and therefore your website) downtime, here are some tips to help.

Minimizing Server Downtime

The first thing you need to accept is that it is impossible to prevent server downtime entirely. You can, however, take action to reduce the amount of server downtime that your online business experiences by understanding the reasons for server downtime, taking the right precautions, and utilizing a server monitoring service. Since frequent instances of server downtime can and will affect your business’s profitability, as well as its reputation, minimizing the amount of time that your server is down should be a top priority, and that means putting the following measures in place.

1. Increase Security

Some instances of server downtime happen simply because someone tripped on a cord and accidentally unplugged the server. Other instances occur when people who don’t really know what they are doing try to start playing server technician. In fact, most server downtime is indeed caused by humans and the errors they can (and often do) make. This means you should take the security of your servers seriously, such as keeping your servers in a room that is locked and accessible only to authorized personnel and giving access only to those who absolutely need it.

2. Schedule Regular Server Backups

If your server experiences a hardware crash, you want to be able to restore the data that was on your server to your new or repaired hardware as quickly as possible. This means having a recent backup of the operating system and data that was on the server when it crashed. By scheduling regular backups of the server, you can substantially decrease server downtime if an equipment failure does happen to occur.

3. Deploy an Uninterrupted Power Supply

The deployment of a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) will ensure that there is a constant power supply to your server, and a constant power supply is a must if you want to minimize server downtime. In addition, a UPS will also clean the power by leveling the spikes and surges that may occur (which can harm the server), as well as ensuring that the power to the server will not be interrupted.

4. Implement Server Monitoring

The best way to minimize the amount of time your servers spend down is to ensure you are notified the moment they go down so you can get them back up and running as quickly as possible. The most effective way to do this is to implement a server monitoring service that notifies you of server downtime via email, phone, and SMS text message. This will ensure that you know about any downtime the moment it happens, allowing you to get to work quickly to remedy the situation and get your server back up and running as soon as possible.

Taking the Bull by the Horns

While it is impossible to completely eliminate server downtime, you can definitely take measures to ensure the downtime that your business’s servers experience is reduced as much as possible. By putting the above measures in place, you will be able to minimize server downtime and give yourself the peace of mind that you are doing everything within your power to ensure the success of your online business and that server downtime isn’t getting in the way of that success.