Keeping your systems and websites running smoothly is critical to your business success. Whether you’re running E-Commerce websites, or accessing company data and applications, downtime costs money. So what can you do to keep downtime to a minimum? How can you improve your uptime?
Choose a reliable host
Not all hosts are equal, that much is true. Some will offer a far more resilient and stable solution than others. But don’t believe the hype. Many providers will boast of a 99.99 - or even 100% uptime guarantee, and while it could well be a true story, ask for references and speak to existing customers. Your hosting provider should have a good track record and a solid, well-tested process for ensuring business continuity. And if they don’t own the data centre infrastructure themselves, make sure you look into where your data will actually be hosted, and the steps the data centre provider is taking to ensure reliability.
You can learn more about what sort of questions you should be asking your cloud provider in our free white paper, here.
Shared hosting vs dedicated hosting
There’s quite a difference between shared hosting and dedicated server hosting, and the decision on which route you take is going to depend entirely on your business needs. However, if we’re talking about improving uptime, a dedicated solution is going to give you the best results.
With shared hosting your website or data sits on the same box as other accounts. It will cost you less than dedicated hosting, but it wouldn’t be unheard of for your site or connection to run slowly or crash from time to time due to the shared resource. Dedicated hosting, although bearing a slightly higher price tag, would give you a faster load time and less downtime.
Build with failure in mind
Wherever your website or IT infrastructure is hosted, it should be built with failure in mind. Think of the worst case scenario - make contingencies - and then think about what else could go wrong. And talk to your hosting provider and/or data centre provider about what they’re doing to make sure that the worst never happens.
For example, our data centre in Manchester boasts 2(N+N) UPS redundancy, standby diesel generation that can provide power for at least 100 hours in the event of an extended mains outage, and a 2 MegaWatt battery storage solution. Meaning that should the worst happen and the power goes off - the lights stay on.
Think about scaling
If you’re running a website, particularly an E-Commerce site, traffic spikes can easily bring your website down. For this reason, you need a cloud hosting solution that can be scaled up really easily, and then scaled back down again if and when demand permits. If you’re expecting traffic to increase - a special offer, sale or seasonal spike for example - scale your infrastructure quickly to meet demand and avoid unnecessary downtime. If your hosting provider can’t make this happen for you - fast, it might be time to review your supplier.
If your server DOES go down, what happens? Backup’s one thing, but do you have resilience through failover, and if so, how quickly will you be back up and running again?
Our cloud hosting platform, CloudActiv, is Active-Active as standard. It’s built on VMWare vSAN stretched cluster technology, replicating to a second site 6km away from our main site. This means that if the worst should happen and our primary site fails, failover to the second site is automatic, with an RTO/RPO of near zero, creating a 100% uptime guarantee that you remain up and running.
You can learn more about our CloudActiv platform here.