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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,152

    does anybody here understand what uptime ...

    It's amazing, I see post consistantly saying 100% or 99.99% uptime guarantees. But then further research shows no SLA or no real details of this guaranteed performance.

    It's gotten to the point where it's bothersome because I'm only capable to achieve 99.73 ( and I run redundant systems ) and my SLA is based at 99.63 ( just need that extra 10 until I can do triple redundancy )

    Now I would like to point out that people should look for with these guarantees.

    the most important thing to know is the time terms of the guarantee. there are daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. I've only see once a daily SLA term. the most common one is monthly, and the one to avoid is yearly.

    now some pointers

    1) first there is the network
    the odds are that the network will never go down and also if it's a bgp network setup then the odds are even less. One of these great tricks is that a web host will offer 99.999 on the network side, but don't offer anything beond that. SO if the site goes down due to a hack, the guarantee is still valid and there is no recourse to the customer. also you should look to see if they have a minimum ping time statement within that guarantee, most will not. but the best ones do.

    2) equipment
    equipment fails, is it covered in the SLA? Some firms do cover equiment failures in thier SLA. Look for that ( also see web request below )

    3) Web request avalibility
    as for some SLA's, the one that you really want is one that had the guarantee based on the avalibility of the site being reachable by end user. This type I have see labled as HTTP SLA or high avalibility SLA.
    These superseed the other 2 types of SLA's why? they are most likely redundant systems in an envionment that wants to make sure that your site never comes off line unless you bring it off line.

    in true high avalibility systems cost money, Lots of money. currently I had to help a person reach a specific goal and I knew I could not do it on my systems and had to go to another datacenter for help. this was his configs of his request and the cost is at the end

    unix platform, zues web serving
    ping time for usa lower 48 = 35 ms
    london = 52 ms
    Melbourne = 98 ms
    hong kong = 70 ms

    terms for avalibility
    120000 page request per hour @ 99.9 % avalibility
    or 80000 page request per hour @ 99.95 % avability

    his configuration ended up with
    11 servers
    dual routers
    dual load balancers
    sweet SAN set up
    weirdest bgp set up I've ever seen ( way over my head stuff )

    cost per month, on a 1 year contract
    99.9 = $ 8,000 plus $1.68 on the B/W per gig

    if this guy wanted 99.99 the cost would have been about double, 99.999 and 99.9999 are in the 250K plus range, the only people I read about, that have 99.999 and 99.9999 are people that will loose upwards of $ 5000 per minute of downtime or lack of avalibility. the down time has cascading effects. ( think of an auto plant line, if for some reason the servers slow down and can not respond fast enough to the lines needs, the loss in productivity keeps on escalating, last I read, the average GM USA plant downtime cost about 75K a minute.
    I am Mike From ADEHOST.Com, Multidomain Windows hosting with Cold Fusion and ASP and Dot.NET Also offering multi-domain Unix hosting. silently, each one should ask, Have I done my daily task. Have I kept my honor bright, can I sleep without guilt tonight. Have I done and have I did, everything, to be prepared. - our motto to maintain services.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Madras
    Posts
    738
    True.

    99% is not too expensive. 99.2 % is reasonable but there is a huge cost difference between 99.2 and 99.9 and the gap gets wider between 99.9 and 99.92 or 99.93 and grows exponentially as you reach 99.99 or thereabouts. After that it is simply prohibitive to invest on redundancy because the cost -benefit is really thin or negative even.

    But then the kind of people really needing 99.99 wont be asking for 1gb at 5$/mo

    Actually in web hosting less is more.

    There are several trade-offs between availability, flexibility [features], security, speed and of course price.

    Customers should clearly identify their priorities and choose 1 or 2 of these parameters and not ask for the largest plan on the fastest server with the highest availability at the cheapest price.

    What you need is a derivative of your website objectives. If you are hosting an ecommerce site, I would go with availability and security. And I would probably choose a non-control panel server with very few ports open. [like seprate dns, mail server etc].

    If I am hosting my emails, speed is not so vital for me ; even 99% availability is fine.

    Actually hosting is the only business I have seen where the seller thinks anything over material cost [server cost] is profit.

    In a service industry, in a good business model material cost should not be more than 10-15% of the list price.

    So if a good server costs like 200$ and gives you 25,000 MB of hosting space, you should price 100Mb at something like 7-8$.

    But WHT is the place of price wars, so 7$ is like blasphemy here!

    Cheers
    Balaji
    Offering Managed Servers - for an exclusive clientèle who value uptime, caring support and superior technology.

  3. #3
    Excellent post ADEhost! If only the majority of hosting customers really thought about what they're buying when they see those uptime guarantees... They're usually just buying marketing hype and empty promises.

    I suppose, when enough of them have gotten burned, maybe some will smarten up.

    We make no promises and have no uptime guarantees. Our actual uptime on shared servers is upwards of 99.5%. Our network uptime has been 100% for the last several months. But we still don't promise it because you never can control everything. Murphy's law always strikes and you never know when.

    The best we could ever do is provide an SLA that provided for compensation in the event of down time, but nobody (well, very few anyway) wants to pay the premium for that extra peace of mind, so we don't bother unless someone requests it and is willing to ante up.

    We simply remind our customers that if they're making thousands of dollars a minute from their web site that they sure as hell better not try to sue us when their $9.95 account on a shared server goes down. Of course, that reminder takes the form of a polite reminder that they better have some good business insurance if they don't want to put up the bucks for reliability worthy of a web site raking in thousands of dollars a minute. In other words, if they're a cheap skate and lose thousands of dollars because of it, it's not our problem. It's even in our terms of service that it is their responsibility to maintain adequate business insurance to cover any losses due to web site or network downtime. We have to cover our butts. We've run into far too many litigous individuals (the words "frivolous lawsuits" come to mind) to leave any holes in our legal armor.
    Sincerely,
    Andrew Kinney
    CTO, Advantagecom Networks
    http://www.SimplyWebHosting.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,152
    Originally posted by advantagecom
    I suppose, when enough of them have gotten burned, maybe some will smarten up.

    We simply remind our customers that if they're making thousands of dollars a minute from their web site that they sure as hell better not try to sue us when their $9.95 account on a shared server goes down.
    Don't laugh,
    did you see those cyberwings post last month. What a laugh .. ""i'm loosing $100 per hour, when will I be up ..."

    people don't realize that if your earning $21 or more per hour ( 24/7/365 ) you should not be on just anybodys servers you need to find those guys that have gool SLA and good quality back end support.

    Mike
    I am Mike From ADEHOST.Com, Multidomain Windows hosting with Cold Fusion and ASP and Dot.NET Also offering multi-domain Unix hosting. silently, each one should ask, Have I done my daily task. Have I kept my honor bright, can I sleep without guilt tonight. Have I done and have I did, everything, to be prepared. - our motto to maintain services.

  5. #5
    uptime guarantees are like aspholes

    Everybody has one and they all stink LOL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,152
    Originally posted by denisdekat
    uptime guarantees are like aspholes

    Everybody has one and they all stink LOL
    well you said it now back it up. Tell me what is considered a good uptime offer and at what price.

    Please be realistic about it

    Mike
    I am Mike From ADEHOST.Com, Multidomain Windows hosting with Cold Fusion and ASP and Dot.NET Also offering multi-domain Unix hosting. silently, each one should ask, Have I done my daily task. Have I kept my honor bright, can I sleep without guilt tonight. Have I done and have I did, everything, to be prepared. - our motto to maintain services.

  7. #7
    I mean they all promise but have a bunch of "excused downtimes".

    For example, they all say guaranteed, but then if you measure them with a network monitoring app like netsaint, they will say "well those numbers can't be trusted because blah blah internet is made of many parts blah blah how do we know if it is not a local problem blah blah how do we know you did not fudge the numbers blah blah" Also most WHPs do not keep trackof their uptime, and if they did, they would not release it to you.

    Never once got money back when the network has been down.

    99% uptime means that your site will be down about 2.5 days a year. Also, what does %99 percent mean really, or whatever percent is it per month or per year. If I don't get my %99 uptime in a year, is the year free, or if I had %98 percent uptime in a month, would I get the month free? I wonder if anyone here ever got any money back from an uptime guarantee.

    Anyone?

    For me it's like saying may reduce the risk of breast cancer ...


    Sounds reassuring but really promises nothing.

    regards ....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,152
    Originally posted by denisdekat
    I mean they all promise but have a bunch of "excused downtimes".

    Never once got money back when the network has been down.

    I wonder if anyone here ever got any money back from an uptime guarantee.

    Anyone?

    Sounds reassuring but really promises nothing.

    regards ....
    You never delt with a quality firm then.

    back in april I had $3600 in payouts that I did for down time ( that explains all the new servers I got if anybody wanted to know ), that was slightly over 200 checks I had to sign and issue. what a nightmare in accounting and postage and e-mailing.

    as for what is excused downtime is on my net work:

    win platform = all documented MS security updates, all hotfixes, requires an explaination letter documenting the downtime so that you ( the client ) can copy it for your pc and stay as tight as can be.

    Cold Fusion = they are few and far between ( CF 5, I'm not even going to touch MX untill they fix most of the problems ) but they do issue patches that require reboots.

    on tuseday and wednesday are the general patch update days and always done at specific times ( depending on the server ) down time = the reboot time of 4 minutes, that down time is normally 2 or 3 reboots and the advisory is sent out if there is going to be more than 1 reboot for that server ( thank god most dll's just require a restart of the specific service and rarely even that )

    UNIX is another story all together, those guys can get uptime that last months or even a year because they don't have to reboot, they just restart the specific services and bang they are fresh again.

    Just about everyone of my clinets has never complained about it ( well the auction company has, but he just wants a solid 8 minute warning with a phone call before his server get's rebooted, so he can run a batch file to adjust the the auction times accross the board ).


    well anyway, you get what you pay for and my clinets pay alot but they also get alot.

    Mike
    I am Mike From ADEHOST.Com, Multidomain Windows hosting with Cold Fusion and ASP and Dot.NET Also offering multi-domain Unix hosting. silently, each one should ask, Have I done my daily task. Have I kept my honor bright, can I sleep without guilt tonight. Have I done and have I did, everything, to be prepared. - our motto to maintain services.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Posts
    342

    but...

    I think uptime guarantees are what they are... no one can guarantee you'll be able to access their network at all times unless they control every server and connection between you and the server they are guaranteeing.

    What SLAs are, in my opinion, are insurance policies - 'we guarantee 99.9% uptime and if we can't meet it we will reimburse you as follows...'.

    I agree that many companies offer uptimes without any sort of SLA included and then refuse to honour their uptime commitment by arguing no terms were agreed.

    Generally speaking, you shouldn't count downtime for reboots and updates as downtime if they're scheduled. If you schedule downtime then it is either upto you or your client (depending on what agreements you have in place) to make other arrangements if uptime is required during server maintenance.

    99.9% uptime equates to approximately 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime per year or just under 45 minutes per month. Almost all of the time we find we can commit to that so we say we'll guarantee it and when we can't, customers can use the SLA to be compensated.

  10. #10
    Greetings:

    Yes, there is an understanding of up time guarantees which is why one of the data centers we work with closely can make the statements below:

    Service Level Agreements

    Network Uptime Guarantee – 99.999% Uptime
    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) guarantees that the network will be available 99.999% of the time in a given month. That translates to no more than 24 seconds of downtime per month. This does exclude scheduled maintenance.

    Network uptime includes functioning of all network infrastructure including routers, switches, and cabling.

    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) will refund the customer 5% of the monthly fees for every 30 minutes of downtime beyond the 1st 24 seconds in a given month up to 100% of the customer’s monthly fees.

    Hardware Repair and Replacement Guarantee – 2 Hours
    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) guarantees that any leased hardware will be repaired or replaced at no cost to the customer within two hours after identifying the problem as being the hardware.

    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) will refund the customer 5% of the monthly fees for every additional hour of down time beyond the 1st two hours up to 100% of the customer’s monthly fees.

    Support Guarantee – 15 minute Response Time
    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) guarantees a 15-minute response time 24x7x365 to any monitoring alert or emergency support issue.

    You, our customer, determine what is and is not an emergency support issue. When you are not sure, we will err on the side of caution and treat it like an emergency.

    Your communication about emergencies can come in any form – phone call, facsimile, email, web-based ticketing system.

    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) will refund the customer $375 per server involved for each 15 minutes beyond the 1st 15 minutes we did not respond in a given month up to $1,500 in a given month.

    Security Update Guarantee – 3 business days
    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) guarantees our staff will install available security patches for the operating system and all applications on our update list within three business days of their release.

    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) further guarantees where possible patches will be tested prior to their application and that based on the customer’s test procedures, testing will be done after the patches have been applied to ensure nothing was broken.

    XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) will refund the customer $50 per server unpatched for each day the patches are not applied up to $150 per server in a given month.

    Reimbursement Guarantee – 10 business days
    If XYZ (not Rackspace.com, btw) fails to meet our service level guarantees in any of the above-mentioned areas, contact our accounting or support department within ten (10) days of the occurrence. Refunds will be applied to the next billing cycle following a service failure.
    ---
    Peter M. Abraham
    LinkedIn Profile

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,152
    Originally posted by dynamicnet


    not Rackspace.com, btw
    Dear Jake, John, Laura, Peter, & Ryan,

    nifty counter

    mike
    I am Mike From ADEHOST.Com, Multidomain Windows hosting with Cold Fusion and ASP and Dot.NET Also offering multi-domain Unix hosting. silently, each one should ask, Have I done my daily task. Have I kept my honor bright, can I sleep without guilt tonight. Have I done and have I did, everything, to be prepared. - our motto to maintain services.

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