Our entire modern life revolves around the hardware at the heart of the new digital world. The world that enables online gaming, financing, marketing, gambling, shopping, banking, and trading. And servers are the backbone of that world. Stored in highly secure buildings with tight climate controls, with multiple backup systems, servers power every webhost service, every website, and every major company on the internet. To ensure the smooth running of servers you need to ask yourself one question – what does uptime for servers mean?
Balancing Cost with Performance
In an ideal world, when you buy an electronic hardware you should be able to have certainty that it will perform as intended, for at least the amount of time stated in the warranty. However, with highly complex, interlinked and networked machinery like servers, things become very uncertain. This is where the term ‘server uptime’ comes in, in an attempt to measure the real-world, successful operational time of the server vs the time in which the server system is out of operation. Therefore, ‘ what does uptime for servers mean? ‘ is the most important question a business owner, or a heavy user of online services, should ask.
Deriving server uptime percentage from a particular server farm is achieved after a prolonged operation of servers, so it is often referred to as a standard to achieve certain level of cost-effectiveness. Depending on the money invested, and the load straining the servers, the server uptime could range from one day to one month of continuous workload. Server uptime can be affected by three factors: scheduled maintenance, upgrade installation, and the worst of all – malfunction/error.
Best Practices for Long Server Uptime
Server downtime is the enemy of any online business. It destroys credibility and reputation of both the service providers and users. Which is why we need to figure out the best practices when answering the question – what does uptime for servers mean? How do we ensure that server uptime is as long as possible, while at the same time not going overboard with spending money to assure that ideal server uptime?
First that needs to be done is careful, systemic research on the most cost-effective hardware, specifically server enclosures or racks. How are they rated, do they provide sufficient ventilation, can they be easily stacked for future expansions, etc. When you are reasonably certain that this foundation is sound, you should move on to backup systems, both for the servers and for the power. Then, consider the environment in which the servers are placed; is the climate control sufficient, and is there a power backup for the entire building. Lastly, introduce preventative maintenance routines, expert oversight, monitoring tools, and firewalls against malicious attacks.
Combat Server Downtime With Common Sense
It may seem shallow to invoke ‘common sense’ when dealing with such complex systems as servers. However, when it all comes down to it, you are dealing with honesty vs dishonesty with yourself. Yes, various preventative measures that almost always lead to long server uptime do cost more, but if you do not want to cripple your reputation you have to take them as necessary expenditures, instead of optional expenditures. Make sure that becomes your baseline standard and you will be fine.