Measuring the availability

Previously in the post “Building applications with high availability”, I had described various techniques to increase the availability of your application. One of the techniques that I described there is creating a Risk matrix

One of the first and foremost steps in creating a Risk matrix for scalability perspective is to measure the availability of your product

Site availability can be calculated by below formulae


Let me take an example to show you how to use this formula. In May 2019 your product “Awesome product” had a downtime of 30 minutes in the first week, and 18 minutes in the last week of May. Now let’s calculate the availability percentage of your “Awesome product”

TOTAL_SECONDS_SYSTEM_DOWN = (30mins * 60secs) + (18mins * 60secs) = 1800secs + 1080secs = 2880 secs

TOTAL_SECONDS_IN_MEASURING_PERIOD = 31days * 24hrs * 60mins * 60secs = 2678400 secs

AVAILABILITY_PERCENTAGE = ( 2678400 - 2880 ) / 2678400 = 0.998924731182796

We got to convert this to percentage by multiplying this with 100

So the availability percentage of your “Awesome product “ is 99.89247311827957%

So what does this mean? your “Awesome product” availability is somewhat 99.89% in May 2019

Don’t get so impressed about your product, because it comes with 48 mins of downtime every month which is not so great availability :).

If you consume AWS cloud objects and have gone through the documentation of AWS you often see amazon assures 99.9999% availability you might get a weird feeling ( like the way I got ) why amazon is so possessive in expressing their availability with 4 digit precision? They are not possessive they are letting you know that in a month any AWS cloud objects will have 2.6 seconds of downtime, this is something you can expect from AWS and it is not 100 percent.

Just in case if they claim or any SAAS product claim, you can sue them legally in court for a false claim based on the impact you had on your business. AWS is just too careful in posting these numbers That’s one of the reasons why SAAS products come with an SLA (service-level agreement ). Good SAAS products claim what they are, they don’t falsely claim to sell their license.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, I promise I am not criticizing anyone here I am just opening up the facts in front of you.