We’ve all been there: you type a website URL into your browser, only to be met with a homepage that won’t load. Sometimes, you’ll be greeted with a message saying the site you’re trying to access is experiencing a technical overload, otherwise known as “downtime.” These extended blackout periods are, without a doubt, a situation every online vendor wants to avoid.
Discover what uptime is and why it matters in the digital world:
Without a website that's operational, having people visit and navigate it from their computer or mobile device isn't possible, which means you’ll lose ground to your competitors in terms of e-commerce. This is where the concept of uptime comes in. A quantifiable metric that represents how much time your site spends online versus offline, uptime is an important aspect when it comes to choosing a reliable host or Software as a Service (SaaS).
What is Uptime?
Uptime represents the percentage of time that hardware, an IT system or device is functioning without any major hiccups. As mentioned before, downtime is the opposite, referring to those moments when a given system is not working. Of course, the latter can be catastrophic if it becomes a recurring event instead of a one-off incident.
Consistent uptime, meaning that a system or device is almost always operational, is what helps determine how dependable a product or service can claim to be. Those claims in turn define the legal parameters in terms of what a company can say in its service level agreement (SLA) to clients and prospects. Techopedia took a more in-depth look at how uptime influences the consumer experience, based on the SLA:
One critical role of the terms uptime and downtime is defining the level of success provided by realtime services or systems. It can be difficult to quantify a service's success or value without these terms. A service level agreement (SLA) or other real-time service contract may include uptime/downtime ratios that show how much time a service is expected to remain operational.
How Uptime is Maintained
Over the past year, Amilia has maintained a sparkling uptime rate of 99.9 percent. As you can imagine, keeping our system running at peak efficiency for that length of time (and counting) doesn’t happen without hard work and dedication. Our Infrastructure Administrator Remi-Pierre Brunet was happy to give some insight about what goes into maintaining our strong uptime:
Choosing the best technologies and partners, in terms of reliability, redundancy and maintainability, is crucial to sustaining our and your business continuity. Being proactive and ready for problems before they occur is something we definitely include in our daily work.
Why a Strong Uptime Matters
There are many reasons why consistent uptime and, by association, little to virtually no downtime are aspects to consider when you’re choosing a web-based product, service or hosting arrangement. First and foremost, when your website is down, you run the risk of missing out on revenue generating opportunities. If your online store or a specific signup page isn't functional, existing and potential clients will undoubtedly become frustrated with their inability to use or register for your product/service, which will lead to negative word of mouth surrounding your company.
Here are some other factors that come into play when a vendor or hosting service offers 99.9 percent uptime:
- Servers have been equipped with backup power supplies;
- Maintenance and repair jobs are done efficiently;
- There is enough IT manpower to deal with major maintenance projects;
- A recovery plan is in place in case major data is lost; and
- In the rare instance that downtime occurs, it won’t be for long stretches
We Don’t Stand for Downtime
Lots of companies take your loyalty for granted when it comes to unreasonable lengths of downtime. It may sound close to perfect, but even at 99 percent (with no nines after the decimal point), your site could be experiencing far more downtime than you think. According to an online uptime calculator, an SLA level of 99 percent allows for potential downtime of over seven hours per month, which could lead to more than three days each year without an operational website.
That kind of unresponsiveness from your SaaS or site is unacceptable not just for your clientele, but for those working to manage your business as well. All the time, money and energy that you put into growing and promoting your organization should not be upended by a lack of sufficient uptime. At Amilia, we’re proud to say that, in our recent company history, our periods of downtime outside scheduled maintenance hours has never totaled more than a few minutes. It’s part of our commitment to help you do more while managing less.