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What is the industry standard for Network Up-Time

Posted on 2010-11-16
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I work in a small office with a handful of other people.  We have have no real internal network except a phone system and a network printer.  We've outsourced our networking and storage to a firm who has set us up on a Citrix server.  So, we all have a virtual desktop we use as well as shared storage space within the server.
Occasionally, the system will go down and I have to call and generate a ticket with their tech support department.  Generally, the system is only down for 10-15 minutes max but often times less. By far, the majority of the time, they system works fine.
I've worked with technology for most of my life and understand that occasionally there will be issues so I'm pretty patient with the system.  
Other users in the office thing the system is poor and expect 0 downtime.  I've tried telling them that occasionally things happen but it doesn't get me far.  I've even tried relating it to Trucks breaking down (we're a trucking company), but it doesn't seem to help.  
Is there an industry standard measure concerning the amount of down time that is acceptable for a system.  If so, I'd like to use it rate the firm I deal with to determine if we're receiving an acceptable product.  Thanks.
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Question by:torttion
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Paul Solovyovsky earned 1000 total points
ID: 34147156
I think your results are typical.  I would phrase it to them as follows:

There are 365 days in a year, 24 hours per day = 8760 hours per year

99.9  Percent uptime = 8.7 hours of downtime per year.

Then ask them how many times their internet connection goes down at home..and that it's serviced by a multi-billion dollar company.

Give them the cost of 99.999 uptime at an exponential cost and they'll see the price/performance ratio is just not worth it.

My $.02



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by:Tony J
Tony J earned 1000 total points
ID: 34147290
Just to add to those points - in order to get the magic "5 nines" of uptime, companies pay massive amounts of money for massively resilient hardware, links, and operating system - Windows Server Datacenter used to come with a dedicated team to install, configure and support and only the likes of HP could do it outside of Microsoft.

The companies using these systems often had multiple sites with synchronous storage, multiple network links into and out of the datacentres from different providers, multiple power in from different providers, plus batteries that would run long enough for a diesel generator to kick in, and downtime measured in the seconds.

Another approach, that may be easier for your end users to understand is when a major road is closed - the driver will more often than not find an alternative route, but this will often take longer, over slower roads. The analogy with the five nines would be to build a dedicated high speed road that that one driver had access to whenever required, wherever required. Possilbe. Just. Highly improbable though.

Many things can be responsible for downtime, and Citrix of all things are terribly impacted by transient errors.
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