IT Best Practices.
How Unreliable Server Hosting Affects Businesses
Reliable server hosting is important for businesses of all sizes. Depending on how a server is used, server reliability can mean business success or failure even for a two man company. Perhaps the two man company relies on its hosted website or web application to attract customers, sell products, or render online services. Larger companies may have a similar need for reliable websites and web applications. However their larger size also means they probably need reliable servers for their internal operations as well.
How much server unreliability can a business tolerate? The answer is none at all. The idea that there is a certain percentage of server down time that constitutes an acceptable loss is a dangerous one. A one percent downtime may seem like a small enough ratio for some, but that “small percentage” can mean a lot of money for large and small companies alike. Three and two thirds days (1% of 365 days) can be an enormous amount of lost money when a server is down for that length of time.
The cost of server downtime is not a simple matter of proportionality. Using an average figure of profits made per day to estimate the cost of a 1% server down time or even a half percent down time is misleading. One reason for this is that website or web application down time has a non-proportional effect on your client’s and customer’s perceptions. If your website or online service is unavailable when someone needs it, you won’t lose an equivalent percentage of their business, you will likely lose all of it which includes all future business with them.
Another problem with proportional estimates is that customer demand is rarely proportional. In addition, server down time isn’t evenly spread out over the year (unless all of it is scheduled maintenance). While some companies may get consistent business every day from their websites, many businesses are subject to seasonal demand. Sometimes the lion’s share of this demand is centered around a week of high activity. If your 1% or 3.65 days of downtime happen all at once in the middle of your week of peak demand, the cost to your company may be well over 50% of your yearly earnings.
The best way to minimize or eliminate these kinds of business losses is to find the most reliable server hosting possible. Accepting a one percent down time is like playing a kind of Russian roulette where you are hoping that the server behaves itself when you need it the most.
If you require reliable server hosting for your business, contact us today.