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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    New York, NY
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    92

    How much downtime is too much downtime?

    So I'm always one that gives my hosts the benefit of the doubt, but I was just curious to see from others how much downtime from one host will make you pack up your bags and leave?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London
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    Any unplanned downtime is bad downtime, if it occurs and your datacenter doesn't give you an acceptable explanation - I'd start packing up.
    Ekin Ersoy
    Stagnom Servers | Europe Dedicated Servers with Redefined Support
    Follow us on Twitter: @StagnomUK | Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/Stagnom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Santa Monica, CA
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    3,372
    Interesting, no one has considered the time-frame involved.

    For matters under their control, a shared hosting environment should easily provide over 95% each month (that's 36 hrs/month downtime). If they can't do that you've got some incompetents working for you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Australia
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    I expect a quality shared host to provide around 99.9% average, over a long period - say 6 months or more. In order to do that they'll need to achieve 99.95%-100% most months because very rare problems will occur (perhaps once a year or so) causing several hours of downtime. And I make no allowance for scheduled maintenance in this - it's better to be informed of downtime in advance but in the end the server's either working or it's not.

    The hosts that can achieve that sort of uptime tend to be the ones offering more expensive, smaller plans. For a budget plan with generous disk and transfer limits I'd adjust my expectations down to around 99.5% average. And any host who delivers less than 98% over a single month (14 hours downtime) needs a good explanation and a convincing case for why it won't happen again, or I'll be leaving.

    Just be careful of fake uptime "guarantees" and worthless SLAs. It really makes no difference what the host claims to offer - proven performance is what matters.
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    1,016
    Quote Originally Posted by foobic View Post
    Just be careful of fake uptime "guarantees" and worthless SLAs. It really makes no difference what the host claims to offer - proven performance is what matters.
    I would have to agree with you, however would you stick with a host who actually honors their SLA or uptime guarantee?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Photoshop
    Posts
    382
    We don't provide an uptime guarantee although our upstreams give us 100% guarantees because lets face it servers will go down at some point or another.

    Maintenance is also sommet we have to factor in - like other hosts we do all we can to ensure we don't have to take sites offline. For example our servers operate hot-swap raid, dual nic's etc

    Sometimes its not avoidable though but I would say between 30 - 120mins of downtime every few months is acceptable (I have very high standards).
    Rob - Creative Director
    Peartree Digital Media Solutions & Peartree Hosting Department.
    Providing a range of services from graphic design and XHTML coding to web hosting, VPS and dedicated servers.
    My views and opinions are my own and in no way do they represent the company I work for...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by InstantPH View Post
    would you stick with a host who actually honors their SLA or uptime guarantee?
    A guarantee without an SLA is meaningless (and arguably false advertising). SLAs are almost universally worthless. If you suffer 24 hours downtime in a month and your host (following SLA) gives you $10 credit, will that make you happy to stay?

    For me the SLA is irrelevant - the host's explanation of what happened and their plans to prevent it happening again would be the main things that influence the stay / go decision.
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

  8. #8
    48 hours in a row is definitely too much.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,875
    How much downtime have you experienced? Any facility will have down time (unplanned). We've long accepted that failover across facilities must be part of our business continuity plan.

    Regards
    UNIXy - Fully Managed Servers and Clusters - Established in 2006
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    www.unixy.net - Los Angeles | Houston | Atlanta | Rotterdam
    Love to help pro bono (time permitting). joe > unixy.net

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    Interesting, no one has considered the time-frame involved.

    For matters under their control, a shared hosting environment should easily provide over 95% each month (that's 36 hrs/month downtime). If they can't do that you've got some incompetents working for you
    Holy Crap. I think I'd bounce way before 95% uptime lol. Anything under 99.5% in my opinion is totally unacceptable, even for shared hosting.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    NYC
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    If it drops below 99% there is an issue.
    CloudCDN | Cloud Hosting | DDoS Protection | Bare Metal Servers
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Miami, Florida
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    18,884
    Hello,
    Here is my take on Uptime. Everyone must remember that there are different reasons for downtime; planned maintenance, updates, server reboots, unplanned maintance, abuse, DDoS or DataCenter network issues.

    A host should do the following
    • ALWAYS inform their customers of planned maintenance, even if it only has a remote chance of client impact. It is best to e-mail all clients at least 48 hours in advanced if known.
    • Have a network news page.
    • Strive for 100% Uptime
    Keith I Myers
    CEO and Founder - RemoteRAM.com
    The world leader in Cloud Based RAM
    KMyers.me The rantings of a lunatic

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    650
    In my personal opinion any downtime longer than 12 hours is way too much. A host should try to keep downtime to as little as possible (hopefully 0 hours).
    Tailored VPS offers fully customizable VPS Hosting
    Powered by OpenVZ | Servers located in the USA | 99.9% Uptime

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Santa Monica, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by AquariusADMIN View Post
    Holy Crap. I think I'd bounce way before 95% uptime lol. Anything under 99.5% in my opinion is totally unacceptable, even for shared hosting.
    That's 7.2 minutes in a day. You would really change hosts if your site was down between 11:00 pm and 11:08 pm. You are the one that's crazy!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Edinburgh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    That's 7.2 minutes in a day. You would really change hosts if your site was down between 11:00 pm and 11:08 pm.
    Would I bother? no probably not....but most likely my clients who don't fully understand hosting etc would and as they're the ones who help pay my food and energy bills and my mortgage, then I'd need to protect their interests online.

    I get phone calls from a few clients even if I reboot the server they're on lol. Some clients must live on their webpages.

    I agree 8 minutes a day doesn't sound long....however, try hanging yourself by the bollocks for a few minutes and you'll soon realise even 2 minutes is a long time mate.

    owm
    Last edited by Outlaw Web Master; 07-27-2009 at 01:53 AM.
    ()
    Life's what you make it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    London
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw Web Master View Post
    I agree 8 minutes a day doesn't sound long....however, try hanging yourself by the bollocks for a few minutes and you'll soon realise even 2 minutes is a long time mate.
    Awesome post
    Ekin Ersoy
    Stagnom Servers | Europe Dedicated Servers with Redefined Support
    Follow us on Twitter: @StagnomUK | Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/Stagnom

  17. #17
    It might be 10 mins of the downtime and that is the google update which is very important to you. I suppose in this case that would be to much for the downtime.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Sputnik's World
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    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    That's 7.2 minutes in a day. You would really change hosts if your site was down between 11:00 pm and 11:08 pm. You are the one that's crazy!
    Downtime every single day? Doesn't really matter if it's only 7 minutes, if they can't keep the server up for more than 24 hours without it going down, there is a problem, and if they aren't willing to figure out what it is and fix it, then it's time to find a new host.

    As for the rest, I guess it depends on how frequent it is, how long it's down when it is down, and how badly it annoys me while it's down.

    I'm always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and I can be understanding about downtime, it does happen. Hardware dies, lines get cut during construction season, hurricanes happen along the coasts, earthquakes. I expect them to have backup plans for when it does happen, but I know those things will result in at least SOME downtime.

    It shouldn't however, be happening all the time, if it is, there is something wrong and it needs to be fixed.

  19. #19
    Downtime every single day?
    If that is the truth I suppose you have nothing to do about it but move. Better find another host that be waiting for the next downtime

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    77
    I run low traffic sites so I'm currently not too obsessed with perfection, but if it's going to be less than 98% I'd leave. Exception is of course planned maintenance, and if it's planned it should still be as short as possible downtime. Ex: When my webhost moved to a new datacenter, they were able to somehow keep servers offline/online for about 5 hours (confuses me; I think they ghosted HDDs and were able to switch from one data center to the other), and that was cool with me. They have weeks of notice + limited downtime for what they were doing.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    1,137
    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    Interesting, no one has considered the time-frame involved.

    For matters under their control, a shared hosting environment should easily provide over 95% each month (that's 36 hrs/month downtime). If they can't do that you've got some incompetents working for you
    That's way too much downtime to be having each month, any host with 5% dowtime each month (or even 1% really) should sell up and do something else.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Photoshop
    Posts
    382
    Presumably emergency maintenance and planned maintenance are excluded?
    Rob - Creative Director
    Peartree Digital Media Solutions & Peartree Hosting Department.
    Providing a range of services from graphic design and XHTML coding to web hosting, VPS and dedicated servers.
    My views and opinions are my own and in no way do they represent the company I work for...

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    202
    I have quite high standards. Anything below 99.8% uptime is unacceptable, although 99.9% is still best.

    Lets face it - we have to reboot our servers from time to time.
    bikster.com - Quality Hosting. Affordable Prices.
    Providing premium quality shared and reseller cPanel/WHM hosting at low prices!
    Reseller cPanel/WHM hosting solutions that you can afford

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    EU - east side
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    That's 7.2 minutes in a day. You would really change hosts if your site was down between 11:00 pm and 11:08 pm. You are the one that's crazy!
    ~4 hours of downtime per month may not be too much for most sites, I can agree to that. But it doesn't mean it's the acceptable level. When 99.9%+ yearly uptime hosting can be had for a small or even no increase in costs, why not take it?

    I'm with foobic on this issue. Real uptime is what matters. I don't care that you have to repair your generators every 2 days and that the downtime is thus "scheduled". I don't care for SLAs and guarantees because the compensation is usually not worth the time it takes to request it, not to mention the aggravation caused by the downtime itself.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw Web Master View Post
    Would I bother? no probably not....but most likely my clients who don't fully understand hosting etc would and as they're the ones who help pay my food and energy bills and my mortgage, then I'd need to protect their interests online.

    I get phone calls from a few clients even if I reboot the server they're on lol. Some clients must live on their webpages.

    I agree 8 minutes a day doesn't sound long....however, try hanging yourself by the bollocks for a few minutes and you'll soon realise even 2 minutes is a long time mate.

    owm
    I know exactly what you mean clients eh - they can be a nightmare!

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