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About Uptime

Have you ever thought about the electricity coming in to your home or office? Probably not. The only time we think of it is either because we received an unexpectedly high bill or because it is not working (here in Florida, this is a common experience).

Your business technology probably consists of hardware and software that was purchased as a Capex (capital expenditure) every three to five years or so. Over that time frame, you have likely had some Opex (operating expenditure) associated to this technology as well. The Opex has probably been somewhat unpredictable and it has likely increased as the technology has aged.

You have probably spent time reviewing a server purchase to determine if it will be sufficient for the growth of your business over the three to five years of utilization for that server. No one wants to overspend for a server or worse yet, buy something insufficient for the job. The cloud is changing that.

Cloud-based services are provided in a fashion similar to electricity. You do not spend time worrying about how your electrical consumption is going to fluctuate, determining technical aspects of how you are going to adjust to the changing demands for electricity in your office.

So, what does this have to do with up time? Well, if you are paying for a technology service that is still dependent on some type of technology (Internet connection) then you should be concerned about two things. First, you should be sure that the company providing the service (think email, telephone service, customer relationship management, professional services automation) has a guarantee of how well they deliver the service. Second, you should be certain that your Internet connection can provide a sufficient connection (bandwidth and reliability).

Uptime is expressed in nines. This is the industry standard comparison of technology reliability. Two nines (99%) uptime equates to 3 days, 15 hours, 39 minutes, and 29.5 seconds of allowable downtime a year. This is generally the minimum uptime discussed in technology circles. The table below demonstrates uptime / availability.

Nines Uptime % Acceptable Downtime days:hours:minutes:seconds
2 99 3:15:39:29.5
3 99.9 0:8:45:57.0
4 99.99 0:0:52:35.7
5 99.999 0:0:5:15.6


So, what does all this mean and why should you care? Well, with each increase in nines, you are looking at an increase in expenses. The key is to balance the downtime cost with the acceptable loss of business associated to the downtime. If you cannot get email for more than 3 days out of the year, will it significantly affect your business? What if your Internet connection was down for 3 days? What about your phones?

So, you have to look at each service and determine what is acceptable. Also, you need to look at your Internet service and your internal network infrastructure. If all of your critical technology is cloud-based, you may be able to just work from a different location that has a suitable Internet connection if your office Internet is down. If some of your technology is in your office, you likely cannot tolerate more less than three nines uptime for your Internet connection. This means that you need a fairly new business-class router with redundant Internet connections (maybe a Comcast business Internet for primary Internet and a business DSL as a secondary).

If you would like to have a discussion about your company’s technology needs, please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation. Maybe you are not even aware of how technology can simplify the workflow in your company. Maybe you do not know how much flexibility may be available to you with regard to how you do your work (or where you do your work).

With current cloud-based email (Office 365 is what we offer), cloud-based voice over IP telephony (Vocalocity is our preference here), and cloud based sales/CRM (Salesforce) you can completely change the way you work. Maybe it’s time to quit spending money on rent for an office that no one comes to and start spending that money on technology that can simplify the way you work. Work from ANYWHERE! Automate and simplify your business processes and leverage technology to make your company more efficient.

We would love to help you. Please fill out our contact form or give us a call to setup a free consultation. What do you have to lose?