Techromatic Incorporated is officially

Made in NY and proud of our contributions to the NY tech and digital community.



December 5, 2013


Robert, our Technical Services Director, sent the following note to our tech team the other day. While it was aimed at an internal audience, I think there's value here for everyone.




Uptime is very important, both from our side and the customer’s side. It’s a way to quantify reliability and it’s one of the most important things for someone in the IT industry to understand.

While a 99% uptime guarantee sounds good on paper, what does that really mean? In reality it means 14 minutes and 24 seconds of downtime a day, and when you add it up it’s over 87 hours per year.


Typically downtime doesn’t happen in small 14 minute blocks, but hours at a time… hopefully not all at once.


What’s tricky is when an issue happens and it doesn’t affect reliability numbers, but it severely affects service- such as Gmail’s issues back in September. They had delayed emails for up to half a day, but technically the emails were delivered. Google's systems weren’t completely down, so it didn’t count against their uptime numbers (not picking on Gmail- this is just an example).


So you can’t just go off of uptime as the only way to quantify quality. 


Both Microsoft and Google guarantee 99.9% uptime- allowing for 9 hours of downtime a year. Putting yourself in our customers' shoes, 9 hours of downtime is a big deal. Suddenly the idea of 99.9%- which might sound like it's just a rounding error away from perfection- doesn't sound so perfect.


It's our job to understand this reality and ensure that our customers are armed and ready to deal with the inevitable downtime that will come their way- no matter how many 9's of uptime is guaranteed.


Pingdom is an example of a third-party service that helps measure uptime and reliability for themselves.


They also provide this uptime cheat sheet for a quick reference.

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