Turn any signal into insight and action. See how PagerDuty Digital Operations Management Platform integrates machine data and human intelligence to improve visibility and agility across organizations.
Connect insights to real-time action by aligning teams through the shared language of business impact.
Check out the latest products we’ve been working on—including event intelligence, machine learning, response automation, on-call, analytics, operations health management, integrations, and more.
Digital Operations Management arms organizations with the insights needed to turn data into opportunity across every operational use case, from DevOps, ITOps, Security, Support, and beyond.
Over 300 Integrations
Discover DevOps best practices with our library of webinars, whitepapers, reports, and much more.
Learn best practices and get support help with resources from our award-winning support team.
See how PagerDuty works with our live product demo — twice a week, every week.
We've created a maturity model to assist on the journey to digital operations excellence. Take our short assessment to find out where your team falls!
Interactive, simple-to-use API and technical documentation enables users to easily try updates and extend PagerDuty.
Engage with users and PagerDuty experts from our global community of 200k+ users. Become a member, connect, and share insights for success.
Get all your PagerDuty-related questions answered by exploring our in-depth support documentation and community forums.
In a world where everything comes down to moments of truth, teams must respond to issues and opportunities in seconds. Rising customer expectations demand real-time...
PagerDuty helps organizations transform their digital operations. Learn more about PagerDuty's mission and what we do.
Meet our experienced and passionate executive team.
We are risk-taking innovators dedicated to delivering amazing products and delighting customers. Join us and do the best work of your career.
With the PagerDuty Foundation, we are committed to doing our part in giving back to the community.
This is the first in a series of posts on increasing overall availability of your service or system.
Photo Credit: Sarabbit
This post is meant as a quick introduction to some concepts of system availability, so that subsequent posts in this series make sense. I’ll go over concepts like availability, SLA, mean time between failure, mean time to recovery, etc. If you’re already very familiar with these, feel free to skip over this post.
The availability of a system or service is the total percentage of time that the given system is up and functional. For instance, a system that is down for a total of 5 hours per year would result in about 99.94% availability. This measure is often stated in terms of “nines”: for example, a telephone service provider with “four nines” availability is 99.99% available, or has about 53 minutes of total downtime a year.
Downtime is a vague term, but usually covers both when a service is completely inaccessible, or when it is accessible but is throwing enough errors or is so slow that it is pretty much unusable. Some service providers try to omit scheduled downtime from their availability calculations, but this is bogus. You are not available when you are down, whether you actually foresaw the problem and “scheduled” the downtime or not. The nearly oxy-moronic concept of scheduled downtime is becoming more and more of an anachronism nowadays in modern web and SaaS businesses, but it is far from dead. This rant could be a blog post in and of itself, so I will skip it for now.
Paid services will often have service-level agreements (SLAs) in place with their customers that define the minimum level of availability their customers should see before financial reparations are made: in other words, before refunding some or all of their money when things break. Some services like Amazon S3 have very explicitly defined SLAs, whereas other services, like Netflix, won’t spell out their policy explicitly but will proactively refund their customers over periods where they were getting crummy service. Although these SLA refunds could add up to a lot of money across a service’s entire customer base during a big outage, they really amount to little for individual customers.
Refunds for SLA breaches, mind you, are only a small part of the financial damages that an outage can cost: some services, especially cloud services, live and die by their availability. Large outages of a consumer-facing service can impact customer mindshare and consumer confidence. Outages (of any size) of a business-facing service can severely damage customer trust, especially if these customers depend on the service to provide some part of their business-critical functionality. Nobody wants to be known as that service that always goes down.
Finally, there are the concepts of ‘mean time between failure’ and ‘mean time to recovery’, which are generally more practical than an availability percentage. Mean time between failure (MTBF) is a measure of, on average, how long your service can stay up between periods of downtime, and mean time to recovery (MTTR) is how fast you can get things back to a workable state when things start crumbling.
We always want to increase MTBF and decrease MTTR. There are a lot of techniques for doing both, and we’ll be following up in the next few availability posts with strategies for doing so. That being said, increasing MTBF can be quite hard, and involves designing systems from the ground up that are very robust and resistant to failure. Decreasing MTTR, on the other hand, can be easy, as there are a lot of things you can do and ways to prepare so that your team is ready when the s*it hits the fan. In the next post, we’ll start discussing ways to reduce MTTR. Stay tuned!
Voices wield power. Staying silent is not an option. We must speak up and honor those who do. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month,...
“Chaos Engineering is the discipline of experimenting on a distributed system in order to build confidence in the system’s capability to withstand turbulent conditions in...
600 Townsend St., #200
San Francisco, CA 94103
905 King Street West, Suite 600
Toronto, ON, M6K 3G9, Canada
1416 NW 46th St., St. 301
Seattle, WA 98107
5 Martin Place
1 Fore St,
London EC2Y 9DT
© 2009 - 2018