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99.99%. That's the new "standard" target to achieve. Well, not really, it all depends on your needs and your customers' requirements, but there's some buzz around that "Four 9s" target.

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Another way to think about it is that a 99.99% success rate is one failure allowed in 10,000. Over a day (86400 seconds) that would mean you achieve your targets in every second of the day except for about 8 or 9 seconds. If you were talking about uptime, that means you have less than an hour's total downtime over the whole year (8760 hours). For reference, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Netflix, and many more huge sites that need to provide 24/7 sevice failed that "less than 1 hour of downtime" target in 2015; as did parts of Google (eg DoubleClick).

Most targets aren't simple to define. For example, if your page needs to download and display in under a second, does that apply every time? Any SLA which requires that is guaranteed to fail - networks are unreliable and you simply cannot guarantee that a remote request succeeds every time. But you can define a target such as it displays in under a second 99.99% of the time. Or more nines if appropriate to your application. At the moment, four 9s is the fad. Next year or the year after it will be five 9s - you might want to consider just what you need to change to achieve that. And start planning now.

Now on to our usual links to tools, articles, news, talks and as ever, all the extracted tips from all of this month's referenced articles.

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Jack Shirazi

Back to newsletter 181 contents

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