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How to calculate necessary uptime percentage (rules of 9)

Greetings,
I need a philosophical answer.  I need to understand how best to determine uptime when it comes to an architecture.

I have learned a couple of things so far:
1. differences in uptime by seconds for each 9: 99% vs. 99.9% vs. 99.99%
2. differences in cost for each 9: $20K vs $200K vs $2M

What I need to understand, is that are there other factors in the rules of 9 other than money lost during downtime?

How do I best determine what uptime I will need when it comes to the importance on the data vs. downtime.  

Here's an example.  Lets say you have an internal network of servers.  These servers have no ties to a sale system, but the data itself is extremely sensitive and important.  Prudence dictates that I ensure these systems' data maintains high integrity.

I know integrity and availability are two different concepts, but I am missing the linkage to what type of environment I need based on integrity.  Does data integrity and confidentiality drive availability?  if so, how?  what are the measuring sticks to use for availability to make the best argument for 99.9% vs. 99.99% vs. 99%?

Thank you.
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Evan Cutler
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Evan Cutler
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1 Solution
 
ajm_1Commented:
This is strictly based on the Business Requirements.  Large O&G companies can't have any downtime, 99.99% uptime is what they are after, hence their budgets are over $2-3Million a year.  Where as a small scale Printing company might be able to withstand a 50% uptime.  
It truly depends on how sensitive a company is to determine what is the right Uptime for them.
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Evan CutlerVolunteer Chief Information OfficerAuthor Commented:
hi ajm_1,
thank you for your input.  Does Confidentiality and Integrity influence availability?  The Printing company, who could withstand a 50% uptime.  what about a lawyer's office? or a CPA?  they wouldn't be upset about downtime, as long as the data secure.  Would their data, by nature of the protection necessary drive availability from 99% to 99.9%?
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ajm_1Commented:
So if we are talking about a Lawyers office:  As long as they can access their File Shares, emails from Phone during downtime (from LAN), they should be fine for a day of outage.  Now being a Lawyers office I am sure your job will get threatened a lot, so you'd make sure your have redundancy in your Network also if they are big.  Having a good ISP, perhaps multiple ISP's might be needed depending on how big the law firm is (5-10people) vs (over 50, 100).  
Weather its a Law Firm, Doctors Office, Oil & Gas Company, Maid Service company.  Data to them is Confidential!
How critical is their data that needs access, where is the data located are all very important factors in driving 99% to 99.9%
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Evan CutlerVolunteer Chief Information OfficerAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for your input.  This helps me understand it much better.
I am most appreciated.
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