Always Connected. Why High Availability is Important at Crises Control

Why High Availability is Important at Crises Control

You are in the middle of an incident, and many of your systems are down. But you are relying on one particular system to help you through the incident – your emergency communications and incident management platform.

That’s where it is critical that your emergency communications and incident management platform needs to come with an SLA that assures high availability. The last thing you want is for it to be unavailable when you need it most.

What is high availability?

High availability is the guarantee that a system can be depended on to operate continuously without failure. 

High availability is important in systems or applications that require a very high level of reliability and availability. Highly available systems typically operate 24/7, every day of the year without any interruption to their operation.

They are designed to withstand up to several minor failures at once, hardware, software, or communication failures that are caused by planned or unplanned disruptions by humans or natural events.

High availability is a key element of business continuity. Without highly available systems, an organisation can lose productivity, data, customers, time, reputation, and more. Systems that are prone to downtime can also be a security risk. In short, high availability is key to keeping organisations moving on a day to day basis.

What does high availability mean?

High availability means that a system is operational as close to 100% of the time as possible. Typically, high availability means above 99% of the time but the numbers go further than that. In the real world, where every second counts in a crisis, every number after the decimal point makes a difference to the high availability of a system.

Let’s break down the numbers:

If a system is 99% available, you can reasonably expect up to 1.68 hours of downtime a week, 7.2 hours of downtime a month, or 3.65 days of downtime a year. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but what if that downtime happened exactly when you needed the system to be firing on all cylinders?

Now we add an extra 0.9% of availability to the system. At 99.9% The downtime reduces to expected downtime of 10.1 minutes a week, 43.2 minutes of downtime a month, or 8.76 minutes of downtime a year. That’s good, but still not quite good enough when time, money, reputation and even lives are at stake.

When an organisation claims they are highly available 99.99% of the time, they are guaranteeing no more than 1.01 minutes downtime a week, 4.32 minutes downtime a month, or just 52.56 minutes a year! Breaking that figure down to days, downtime could equate to approximately 9 seconds. That means that the chances of your systems not being there for you when you need them most are pretty small.

Why is high availability important?

Any interruption in a system can cause losses for a business when it is an IT system used for daily operations (think website, payments system, and more). However this could be so much worse in an emergency situation where any delay in communications, no matter how short, could have consequences.

At Crises Control, our goal is to be there for our customers at all times. As a result we have taken steps to ensure high availability. The Crises Control platform is hosted in high availability server centres who have also committed to providing reliable services to their customers. We use more than one server centre to ensure that they are not affected by geographical factors.

Crises Control is cloud based, designed to work independently of an organisation’s ICT. This means that Crises Control will continue to function even if your IT is down. The platform itself is designed to be fast and effective, with every action taken to ensure high availability. We require our suppliers to have high availability that we can pass on to you.

Contact us now to learn more about Crises Control and how we can help you provide resilience for your organisation: