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  1. #1

    Acceptable downtime for shared hosting?

    What do you consider an acceptable amount of downtime for a shared hosting plan? I realize there are problems hosts can't prevent or anticipate, particularly in a shared environment, and all they can do is fix them ASAP.

    I've been using very cheap hosts until I could see if my sites were going to take off, and now that some of them are starting to, I want to move to better hosts. But from reading here and at various more expensive host support forums (until my eyes are about to bleed), it looks like to me I'll be moving from an occasional several hours' downtime to an occasional hour or two of downtime. I'm disappointed to find out that this seems to be considered normal, but maybe my expectations are too high.

    Does anyone have a host that's given them anything close to 100% uptime for more than a few months? And while I appreciate hearing from resellers and people using higher-end shared plans, I'm really hoping to hear from other folks on the entry-level shared plans. From what I can tell, entry-level users are not always treated with the same care and efficiency as the bigger spenders, at some hosts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Personally I don't consider any downtime acceptable.
    The host should be on it immediately, I find it acceptable IF and ONLY if they are dealing with it immediately (yeah, some issues take time - thats understandable but if they're not on it immediately and advertise 24/7 support: they're not doing their job).

    Just my take on things.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Central Long Island, NY
    As long as the company has their servers properly secured you should not have to deal with any downtime other than the occasional server reboot or hardware failures.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Originally posted by Salvatore
    As long as the company has their servers properly secured you should not have to deal with any downtime other than the occasional server reboot or hardware failures.
    So networks are always 100% up? I believe that uptime of 99.5% or greater (usually 99.9%) if they keep you well informed is acceptable. But then again, it all depends on how much you pay, how much you get, etc.

    That's my 2 cents.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I have never really experienced any large downtimes... However all web hosting providers encounter problems.

    As HP-David stated. If they work the problem quickly, then I have no issues. If there is no explanation of the downtime, and no response to it, then ofcourse (stating the obvious here) I consider this unacceptable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Northern Europe.
    This issue has been discussed many times, just search around on this forum.
    I guess a 100% uptime will be very difficult to reach, however, around 99.9% is pretty normal. I have that kind of uptime on a budget hosting plan with Micfo, for instance - monitored by Host-tracker.
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  7. 100% uptime is unfortunately impossible to acheive. But having said that almost all downtime should be only for a short period of time.

    Except for the event of a major disaster with the server downtime should not last for any more than 10 - 15mins tops

  8. #8
    I think web host should alert their customers ahead of time for scheduled downtimes.

    Unexpected downtimes can occur and if the host is reliable they would be on the case right away.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    I dont realy believe in downtime unless it is planned and all your clients are informed of the expected down time if your hosting has less than 99.9% uptime and you are paying a hefty amount for what you are getting then thats just plain unaceptable but if you are on free hosting then donwtime for your account doesnt realy matter in the host eyes since you are not paying there is no incentive for them to keep your account up thats why free hosting is never that great

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    West Sussex,
    i think as long as you have 99.0% uptime in a month this is fine.
    Luke Bailey
    Wittering PC

  11. #11
    I you notice downtime, and you haven't been told about it, either in advance or had an email saying we are working on the problem, then i would say that was unacciptiable.

    Ok there will be times you need to do a quick reboot, but people wont normally notice this, they will normally think thats odd, press refresh and its back again.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Stony Plain, AB
    Anything lower then 99.9% is terrible imo. Unless their was a major disaster.

    Most professional hosting companies should always hit 100% unless there is a kernal upgrade or hardware problem.

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  13. #13
    I think I see now why I'm so confused.

    I ran some sites in the 1990's, on both cheap and more expensive hosts, and had very minimal downtime - can't even recall any unscheduled downtime. The only difference between cheap and expensive was features, really. But that was before every user could install 50 Fantastico scripts in the blink of an eye, and anybody could become a reseller just as quickly.

    I got out of running sites for a few years, and just got back in last year. I admit I've been using "dollar" hosts, until I saw whether my sites were going to take off. So while some of those hosts were actually great for starter sites, I wasn't surprised to have significant downtime (days of it, in two cases) and a lack of quick response from some of the hosts.

    Now that I see a couple of the sites are worth investing in, I'm happy to pay what I have to in order to have the sort of reliability Salvatore and awibble are talking about. For the size and features I'm looking for, I would think $10/month would be more than adequate. But maybe not?

    This morning, I went to have another peek at the support forum for a host that is often mentioned in threads asking for the "most reliable" hosts, whose plans start in the under $10/month range, and guess what? They had about 90 minutes unscheduled downtime this morning for their shared users. I gotta admit, if I pay 7 times what I've been paying for cheap hosts, and still have downtime like that, I would be frustrated.

    Or am I just expecting too much? Or is $10 too low for even a small site to have that kind of reliability? If my expectations are unrealistic, I really will adjust them. I just can't tell whether I simply haven't found the right host for me, or whether it's something I'm doing wrong.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    90 minutes is about 99.8% uptime. That seems quite long, but that will happen with just about any host, no matter how much you pay, at some point in time.
    Doyle Lewis
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  15. #15
    I agree that any host should be able to provide at least 99.9% uptime in a month. Unfortunate events do occasionally occur, but these are not usually the host's fault. You can see the worth of the host in if they react quickly to the issue.

    Ninety minutes downtime in one day is, in my opinion, horrible. However, you have to look at how the host dealt with that issue.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    EU - east side
    They had about 90 minutes unscheduled downtime this morning for their shared users.
    I'm not sure what host you're referring to, but one thing must be noted. A host has as many uptimes as servers.

    For a host with a fleet of say 100 servers, as opposed to a host with 2 servers (all other things being equal), the chances of having hardware problem on one of the servers is 50 times higher. In other words, the bigger host will (on average) deal with 50 hardware problems for each one problem of the smaller host, and similar reasoning can be used for the other causes of downtime.

    Fact is, shared hosting in the usual formula can only be expected to reach so much uptime. My personal opinion (not sustained scientifically) is that over a relatively long period of time, a very good shared host should be able to attain an average of over 99.9% uptime (some servers fairing better some worse than that). Should I require better hosting than that, I would look into more advanced forms of hosting (and be prepared to pay the price).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    United States of America
    remeber too that your getting into bargin situations at sometimes to get the best bang for your buck while sharing that server with many more users as the old saying goes 'you pay for what you get'
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Northern VA
    Obviously the higher the uptime the better. Since 99.9% uptime is in excess of 30 minutes of downtime a month I prefer hosts that exceed that but it's hard to make a hard and fast rule as to "acceptable". Some find downtime less acceptable than others and have a lower threshold.

    For my part, what matters to me as much as uptime is how well a company communicates "what's going on" when there is downtime. In my mind a host should:
    1. Post service status on their site so you don't have to contact the host and wait for 30 minutes to ask "Are you down?"
    2. Be honest with the customer. It used to rile me to no end when a host would repeatedly tell me "we're upgrading and this will never happen again...." Vague reports or little information are very frustrating.

    I guess it boils down to letting the customer know that you're on top of it and there is an estimated time of restoration. Making the customer do the work to figure out you're down and then only making vague guesses about causes of failure or time of restoration can be just as frustrating as the outage itself.
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