No IT service will ever try to claim that server downtime is acceptable, but many will claim all sorts of issues causing downtime are unavoidable. For businesses that rely more and more heavily on their web presence or web applications to do business, server uptime can be the difference between productivity, financial solvency—even industry presence—and invisibility, stagnancy, and substantial fiscal losses. How important is server uptime, and are there any real reasons for acceptable downtime?
Why is server uptime so crucial?
When your physical business server goes down, you lose access to the information stored there. If you happen to host a website, you become effectively invisible to the Internet as a whole. If downtime lasts long enough, search engine rankings can drop as well. Particularly when websites are down, clients who try to access them gain a negative impression of the technological capability and reliability of the business in question. Utilizing colocation services or cloud computing distributes the resources and information from one physical server—that might be prey to a myriad of issues—to a distributed, secure alternative. Achieving complete server uptime is a major goal for a business server—but not the only goal.
Is there acceptable downtime?
What are the other goals of a business server? One is to maintain digital data security. A final line of defense for a server under attack from a DDoS or other malware is to disconnect from the network. At that point, maintaining uptime would actually be a significant security risk. Likewise, failing to update for fear of downtime can leave gaping vulnerabilities in a system. However, either of these scenarios can be alleviated by securing data in the cloud—leaving it accessible, safe, and with 100% uptime. Every piece of physical hardware will eventually require repair or replacement. Information strategically spread through the cloud doesn’t have that vulnerability. When one server or support for the cloud-based computing system goes down, millions more maintain the system’s overall accessibility and uptime.
Monitoring services help achieve 100% uptime
Uptime monitoring services bring systematized and proactive technology to bear on the issue of minimizing, or even eliminating, server downtime. We can now know, to the thousandth of a percentage, how much uptime a system has. Additionally, automating notifications for any downtime or component issues that could lead to downtime also serve to reduce the overall downtime a system may incur. A key mechanism that is presumed to be at play here is that, when these notifications of current or potential issues arise, appropriate action is taken in a timely fashion. Monitoring without action is as helpful as bringing binoculars to protect you in the ocean. You may be able to see the issue, but that tool alone isn’t enough to save your life. That’s why monitoring services through companies like Volico aren’t simply passive observers: instead, they work to detect, respond to, and prevent issues from cascading into server downtime.