Keeping the 9's

Wednesday at work, the network went down in our office.

While not quite that bad, hilarity does often ensue when everyone realizes they are basically paralyzed when shut off from the Internet. I work on products that are hosted on the Internet in the “cloud” A.K.A. the already-worn-out buzzword for any services hosted over the Internet. In this context, I wondered what types of uptime my company was promising to its customers for the services I work on. The “holy grail” of availability, usually referred to as five nines, is availability 99.999% of the time. I have worked in my current position for almost exactly a year, and so I thought it would be funny to calculate the availability of my corporate network in that period. I’m making some pretty big assumptions, mainly that this was the only outage that occurred, which I’m pretty sure it wasn’t, and that it lasted for exactly 2 hours. It may have lasted less time, but effectively this was how long it lasted for me, because I went home more than 2 hours earlier than expected. I’m also assuming that there are 24 hours a day, and 365 days in a year, which isn’t exactly accurate either.

It looks like the folks in our IT department are close to four nines this past year. Hope we aren’t promising much more to our customers!