I very much have no interest in these "x was down for y hours today" type stories because I think they're pretty pointless. Stuff goes down, stuff will always go down, there's nothing that can be done about that. Unless you start seeing Twitter level downtime you really just have to suck it up. But this quote from ReadWriteWeb's Richard McManus, and the mentality behind it, drives me up the wall. Here it is...
Today's big news is that Amazon's S3 online storage service has experienced significant downtime. Allen Stern, who hosts his blog's images on S3, reported that the downtime lasted 3.5 hours. Startups that use S3 for their storage, such as SmugMug, have also reported problems. Back in February this same thing happened. At the time RWW feature writer Alex Iskold defended Amazon, in a must-read analysis entitled Reaching for the Sky Through The Compute Clouds. But it does make us ask questions such as: why can't we get 99% uptime? Or: isn't this what an SLA is for?
OK, let me spell this out for you since the math isn't that difficult.
365 days a year X 24 hours a day = 8760 hours a year
100% uptime - 99% uptime = 1% downtime
1% of 8760 hours a year = 87.6 hours
So 7 hours or so of downtime is well within the 1% Mr. McManus wants
I get that people have high expectations of these services and I get that its frustrating when they are down. But to actually quote the percentage without going to the trouble to think through what that percentage means is obnoxious.
(For the record Amazon actually guarantees 99.9% uptime but that still gives them about 9 hours of downtime a year so they're still within the margin)
I point this out not to attack Mr. McManus but because this is a trend in blogging where people don't bother to think through what they are saying before they post it. If I had one request for the blogoshpere it would be this: Before you post anything read it over once as if you were a person who disagrees with you.
That act alone would save me tons of frustration.
Addendum: Just a point of clarification. Amazon guarantees 99.9% uptime per month which is something I wasn't aware of when I made the post. So those using S3 will be entitled to a 10% credit from Amazon for the downtime going over that (though it still fell far short of 1% downtime so no 20% credit for anyone)