1.25K$ Per Second for Downtime?   1 comment

I was attending an hp event on the 29th of June 2011. Hp guys were telling us amazing products and services that they have been working on. I was impressed by what they presented, more than anything though, I was impressed by what they are presenting as a selling point. For example, one of the points they say is the amount of power you save by using the latest server over the previous one; by the power, they also mean the amount of money. They were also telling us about the service support they have for the infrastructure for 24/7 up-time.

I looked around and all of us attending were Ethiopians, the presenters are from kenya. We all know the usual saying ‘Ye habesha ketero’, even if you are late for half an hour from an appointment, it is ok. What does it mean for us, Ethiopians, saving a second or minutes of down time of our service? how much would our company lose if our network is down or our email service is not working for, say a day? I wanted to share it with anyone who’s curious in the imagination we have about time.

According to The Register most companies can not count cost of IT down time. I took a sample they put their as a title, if you lose 100,000$ per a minute, do the math and you will get what I’m talking about. Assume, an airline which has lots of destination, which support online booking. If they have, say 75% of their customers online and if they have 1000 people flying per day, it means that they have 750 customers per day. What I am talking about is, the amount of money the airline loss if their website is down for a day. This is a big scale loss. But consider if they have drops of requests of one per every minute. The hp guys were all about this minor drops which lead to a big loss.

Two weeks ago, I found out a google project called SPDY. The google technologists look crazy for a community who doesn’t care for 30 minutes. They are thinking of saving micro seconds which are lost by an http request and response. According to the project documentation, average load time with a connection of DSL 2 Mbps downlink, 375 kbps uplink with http is 3111.916 ms and with spdy, it will be reduced to 2242.756ms. Every millisecond leads to a loss of money online which sums up to millions and billions.

Microsoft on the other hand is working on saving milliseconds wasted due to the operating system, the language and tools. All the big players of the IT industry are competing in saving microseconds. It starts from the programming languages, the platform, the server all the way down to the network infrastructure.

I think the change in the way we think about a fraction of time changes the way we live. In my last post I was talking about code for Ethiopia. If we really give value for the seconds and minutes we waste looking for a place to shop something or a way to go somewhere by asking people, we work on the solution. It is clear that the only gateway for the internet might not give value for a day or two down time in the internet connection (etc sucks guys know better). I am just saying what I can say from the technical point of view, starting from my perspective of coding. How much is your second/minute worth? how about for the company you work for?


Posted July 1, 2011 by Behailu S. in Uncategorized

One response to “1.25K$ Per Second for Downtime?

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  1. I just want to share with you what I found out from a friend who saw this post. He told me one of the instances he faced while visiting one of the service providers in a city where he went to college. The person showing them around switched off the power and told them ‘Now the whole city is blacked out’. A typical service in Ethiopia.

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