You may have already asked yourself what uptime is when looking at various reviews before choosing an ideal hosting service for your institutional website, blog, or e-commerce. Its translation is uptime and, based on this information, it is already possible to imagine the importance of this metric.
Uptime indicates the percentage that a hardware, system, or any IT device operates successfully, that is, it indicates the operating time of an IT asset without outages and interruptions. When we talk about hosting services, it refers to the server, the place where the information is stored, and, consequently, the speed at which it is possible to access it.
In this article, we describe the concept of uptime, how it can be measured, and its importance for a successful digital presence strategy. Want to improve your relevance in search engines? So, continue reading!
What is the difference between uptime and downtime?
While uptime indicates the period in which a server is functional, downtime means the opposite, that is, it relates to the moment in which the same IT asset is not operable but, rather, unavailable. As the IT infrastructure — even if the service is cloud-based — needs a physical structure to function, many occurrences can happen and make downtime possible:
- failures of hardware and other infrastructure component equipment;
- human errors;
- scheduled maintenance;
- software updates;
- adjustments to settings;
- DDoS attack;
- bad weather;
- natural disasters.
How can uptime be measured?
IT professionals use uptime as a percentage ratio between server downtime and server uptime. Suppose that an IT infrastructure, within an hour, has an operating time of 50 minutes.
You can imagine that basically, the calculation would be activity time divided by total time, in this case, (50/60). The result, 0.8333 minutes, must be multiplied by 100. Therefore, the percentage would be 83.33%.
But the server may run consistently for a long period and the downtime may be the result of factors such as maintenance shutdowns, malfunctions, or a power supply crisis.
If we consider all variables, uptime needs to be calculated based on the following equation:
MTBF + MTTR
The result is uptime, which expresses the degree of availability given in percentage. MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) is the average time between failures and MTTR (Maximum Time to Repair) is the maximum repair time.
Complicated? Don’t worry, many tools measure uptime in a very objective way on the Internet. This service involves monitoring the page hosted on that server at a predetermined time interval.
It is possible to set up an alert to inform the user that your website has been inactive (warnings are sent by email or SMS) and how long the page has been down. Many people use this monitoring tool to indicate to their audience the reliability of the hosting service, related to issues such as uptime, loading speed, security, and usability of the platform.
The best-known tools for evaluating server uptime are PingDom (paid) and Uptime Robot, which allow you to monitor the performance of up to 50 websites for free. Another facility made available through contracting the solution is the recording of uptime logs.
It is also worth considering that a page on the Internet can be down for various reasons, such as domain expiration or programming errors, even if the server is fully active.
How important is uptime to a corporate strategy?
Uptime plays a critical role in any customer success strategy. This is because it guarantees that a user remains on a page without problems, such as interference and interruptions.
If it is an online store website, for example, uptime can directly affect the company’s revenue, since two hours of downtime represent a considerable volume of sales, especially for large retailers.
Furthermore, uptime is directly related to SEO strategies: all search engines evaluate this and other technical issues to create their results ranking. When a server does not respond instantly to the access request or is down for a long time, this disrupts the positioning of the page and, consequently, the visibility of the brand.
Another problem is the compromise of the user experience, who can lose trust in the brand or give up before even viewing the content and this could be detrimental to business results.
Where can I find a server’s uptime guarantee?
Ideal uptime is standardized by the goal called five 9s: the system must operate properly 99.999% of the time. Many companies guarantee uptime through SLAs (Service Level Agreements), established when hiring the hosting service.
In practice, this means that hosting must guarantee all services and resources provided throughout the server’s operating time and for the entire contract term. However, maximum operability can never be made available, since, as we mentioned, various types of problems can occur with the company’s physical infrastructure.
For this reason, most companies still consider a maximum downtime in their SLAs, generally 0.02%, that is, less than 2 hours of unavailability per month — preferably at times of very low traffic, in the early hours of the morning, for example.
To provide an adequate experience for its users, the most important thing is that the hosting provider, in addition to guaranteeing relevant SLAs (a maximum percentage of uptime over a longer period), also offers quality support and has high rates of Problem-solving.
If the SLAs are not met, companies follow a table in which percentage ranges of reduction correspond to discounts on the user’s monthly fee. Although the amount refunded is negligible, as the difference is generally very small, it is the consumer’s right to demand this reimbursement.
The biggest problem is the compromise of the customer’s user experience, that is, the person who accesses the hosting service contractor’s website, who may stop trusting the company and be discouraged from returning to use it, especially if the website is e-commerce.
Knowing what uptime is is just the beginning of your Internet visibility strategy. You will also need to choose a hosting service provider with the ability to provide speed in loading your page, security to guarantee reliability to its users, quality support to resolve any potential problems, and a platform that favors the usability of all available resources.
Now that you know what uptime is and how important it is for your digital strategy, how about getting in touch with a hosting provider that takes these requirements seriously?