Nearly every business is reliant on the availability of one system or another.
As such, uptime is a key consideration for every IT infrastructure.
This is because outages can cost your business dearly. In fact, Gartner predicts the average cost of downtime is around £4,000 per minute. That’s more than £200,000 per hour.
Of course, that’s just a ballpark figure – the cost to your business can fluctuate greatly, depending on your setup. Downtime also directly affects your business’s reputation, where the stability and security of your business – not to mention its customer service – are all called into question with every outage.
At Clovertec, we create systems of prevention and recovery to deal with any potential threats to your company. In addition to prevention, our goal is to enable ongoing operations before and during execution of disaster recovery.
In this post, we reveal how IT server support and other measures can help you realise 99% uptime.
5 ways to maintain 99% server uptime for your users:
1. Monitor your assets
This is an obvious but important point. You must monitor your physical assets for environmental and internal threats. This may include any temperature or security issues in the server stack. Then, you must make sure you have (preferably automated) fail-safe options if your physical assets fail.
While many businesses have migrated to the cloud, this is still a valid point – especially if you have a hybrid setup or rely on on-premise servers for storage or disaster recovery.
Even if you’re 100% cloud-based, you still need to monitor your cloud-based infrastructure. It is still prone to downtime due to loss of power, network connectivity issues or even a data centre going offline for maintenance work.
However your architecture operates, real-time monitoring can help you proactively stay online, and the scalability of the cloud means you should be able to stay online with greater ease, compared to on-premise setups.
An IT server support team can help you proactively monitor your servers. At Clovertec, for example, we provide a 24/7 on-site and off-site service. So, if an issue does occur, we’re always on hand to help.
2. Evaluate the capacity of your servers
If you see a surge in demand across your web applications, you want your servers to scale accordingly. You certainly do not want to set your server capacity limits too low.
This is where the flexibility of the cloud helps. Some providers offer auto-scaling options to allow you to scale elastically as demand for your online services rises (and falls). So, you only pay for what you need. Also, you can sometimes set cost limits, so you are not landed with a hefty bill if you do see a spike in demand.
Aside from the cloud, there are also a range of API management solutions that can automatically respond to any increases in traffic.
3. Create backup routes
If a server goes down on your network, how are you going to redirect traffic? It’s similar to a road closure – you still must reroute traffic to help entities get from A to B as quickly as possible. To achieve this for your IT network, you need to establish logical routes to reroute your traffic if, for example, a server fails.
You may need to implement more network interfaces, use load balancing techniques to spread the load on servers, and establish other redundancy and abstraction techniques to protect your services from failover issues.
Luckily, a range of cost-effective and smart failover solutions are now available. Traditional tape-based backups, for example, are costly, unreliable and are unable to easily scale. They can also be time-consuming tasks that take IT staff away from other priorities.
Since the back-up data is physically remote from the customers’ premises, this also avoids data loss through fire, floods or other catastrophic events.
That’s not all. Take, for example, the outdated concept of a backup server compared to a virtualised machine. Once, a backup server represented a major expense whenever a physical unit was added to your network.
You had to manage the increased administrative and personnel costs, and also the security issues associated with adding another node to your network.
Now, your servers can be virtualised, removing many of these physical constraints. Virtualised servers work in the same way as your physical servers.
However, you can commission additional virtual servers independently of other nodes – often for zero or low cost. This provides your business with a cost-effective backup route, should your network grind to a halt.
4. Prioritise security
Malicious attacks are another major cause of downtime. As the number of cyber-attacks continues to increase, you cannot rely on one copy of your data. And you certainly cannot keep that copy on your premises.
The cloud can boost the security of your business-critical data, even in the event of a cyber-attack. Multiple measures are available, including controlled access, strong perimeters, and surveillance systems, to name a few.
What’s more, when you work with a professional IT server support provider, you get access to eh latest cyber security expertise and benefit from regular audits, to continually boost the security of your systems.
5. Code proactively for uptime
Sometimes downtime is not the fault of your network or wider infrastructure – your applications can cause issues. So, you need to have the right measures in place to maintain and deploy your code. In particular, you may want to introduce the following measures to your development environment:
- Check for bugs in your APIs
- Consider how the API will deal with high traffic
- Analyse any errors with your code thoroughly
- Run unrealistic tests – bombard your APIs with traffic.
- Automated testing
Looking for IT server support for your business?
Clovertec’s back-up and disaster recovery as a service model offers an automated, secure, and reliable cloud-based solution. If you’d like to find out more about our business continuity services and how we can help you stay online, please click here.