Are UNIX Web servers really this reliable?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Questions and Tips' started by iBook, May 9, 2004.

  1. iBook macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    Found a company offering

    1 gb storage
    100 gb monthly bandwidth
    blah blah blah
    99.99% uptime

    $8/month (annual prepaid)
    $9/month otherwise
    no setup fee

    Is UNIX that bullet-proof that < $10 a month will get you 99.99% uptime? Seems too good to be true for "four 9s."


    Is it "spamming" for me to include the URL? :confused:

    If it is, I will remove it immediately.

  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Posting the details is fine.

    Unix systems do have extremely good uptime. It usually depends on the availability of backup power during a power failure, since a mature Unix O.S. like Solaris can stay up months or years without crashing.

    Do you really care about the difference between 99%, 99.9%, and 99.99% uptime, or do you just want to know if they are stretching their claims?
  3. iBook thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    Mostly want to be sure the claim is accurate because ....

    There are 8,766 hours in a year

    99% uptime = 8,678
    99.5% uptime = 8,722
    99.9% uptime = 8,757
    99.99% uptime = 8,765

    The difference between 99.99% and 99% is 87 hours - almost 4 days!

    Does 99.99% seem reasonable (i.e. "honest") for the price? I'm paying $20 right now with another company for half the storage (though with unlimited bandwidth, I think).
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    When the fine print says guaranteed uptime, I wonder what happens if they are down for, say, 2 days in a year. If it's like other companies, you can probably get a refund for those 2 days, but only if you know what days/times the service was unavailable and phone them about it.

    However, you can probably get that refund no matter what their guarantee is, so the guarantee may not mean anything in a practical sense.
  5. gbojim macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2002
    Yes it can be that bulletproof. Of the many UNIX and Linux servers supported by my company, there are 6 that have been up for over 2 years (they are all database servers and yes that means the OS rev is over 2 years old). The longest uptime for all of them is 2 yr, 8 mo, 13 days.
  6. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    The Webserver I've been running (my real life job) for the past four years is running on Red Hat Linux. The only times the server has been down, however briefly, fall into three categories:

    1) Reboots required by kernel patches/upgrades (so these are perhaps five minute downtimes)

    2) Hardware failure (we had a disk failure a couple years ago)

    3) Misconfiguration of the httpd.conf file by yours truly (usually typos) :D
  7. Jeewhizz macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2003
    London, UK
    you can have that sort of reliability, but it all depends on their network, power, connections etc etc - where's the DC... that will help you find out lots of stuff in case the preverbial brown stuff hits the fan.

    I think 99.99% is a bit hard to promise, esp when you have upgrades that need to be done and so on, but its possible :D

  8. hmmfe macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2003
    You can easily get 99.999% uptime with load-balancers,etc.

    That being said, this is not a guarantee, but a warrantee. So, they balance the benefit of the claim against what they have to return if you bother to call them on it (most people don't).

    Bottom line. You can get "5 nines" application reliability from Windows. It is all a matter of how you design the system.
  9. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    There seem to be some server standards:
    99 Conventional 3-5 days
    99.9 Highly Available 8.5 hours
    99.99 Fault Resilient 1 hour
    99.999 Fault Tolerant 5 minutes
    These are from a Sun page.

    The five 9's seem to be the ultimate goal. I found some other slightly different terms, too, but they were similar.

    Sun guarantees 99.975 percent on their clustered Sun Enterprise 10000 systems. That is quite astonishing because I think Sun risks a lot more than a hosting service by guaranteeing this.
  10. jalagl macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2003
    Costa Rica
    Yes, UNIX servers are pretty reliable. It is funny that I saw this thread talking about it today, since last week I got a call from my last job to see if I remebered the password for root on a FreeBSD box I had setup there. They are moving to a new building, and need to shut down the machine to move it to its new place. The funny thing is that I left that company in January last year, so it's being running perfectly for the past 16 months!!

Share This Page