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12 January 2017

We have reached 99.9974% of uptime (SLA) for our services in 2016

Every year we conduct a detailed SLA analysis for IdoSell Shops. The measured SLA was 99.9974%. It means that last year, an average a virtual server was unavailable for only 13 minutes and 40 seconds. We are very proud that we were able to reach such high level of uptime for our comprehensive services. It is significantly higher than market norms and standards, even for hosting of static pages.

How do we measure SLA?

99.9974% of SLA is an average from over 3500 customer virtual machines and shops we supported in 2016.

SLA is measured with the widely-available Nagios system monitoring software, which checks the health of server utilities (e.g. the ability to send a request to a database, server load, disk space etc.) at a given time interval. If a server reports problems, we measure its availability more frequently. In addition to gathering standard statistics, our also simulates real users by trying to place orders in shops, which in turn verifies whether the checkout process works correctly – we consider this crucial in assessing the overall shop availability.

Planned maintenance windows are not considered as downtime – in 2016 there were two maintenance windows. They took place at night, between midnight and 7 a.m., when the traffic is not significant. These breaks were aimed at improving and maintaining the hardware infrastructure, wiring, firmware upgrades etc.

Downtime caused by a given shop being migrated or its server being reconfigured on customer's request, is also not considered for the purposes of SLA.

IdoSell Shop has no maintenance windows for system updates. We install dozens of changes into our customers' systems every whilst ensuring data integrity and uptime are not affected. We have developed a unique technology of performing such updates in real time, without interrupting normal sales processes.

More information regarding our SLA calculations and how to check it for your store, can be found on: SLA – guarantee of high online store availability.

How do we reach such high SLA?

Many years ago we decided to become the market leader based on unparalleled quality and stability of services, not low prices. We have been investing in the best available hardware and software solutions. Many components are created in-house by our specialists. For example, instead of having our administrators monitor the system manually, whose reactions can be delayed, we invested in our own system of detecting any incorrectness, and making decisions in case of any problems in the blink of an eye (e.g. whether to restart the service / server), even by simulating real users.

Since we support online stores, we have to deal with frequent changes in traffic. One of the biggest challenges last year was to ensure uninterrupted uptime for our shops on the Free Shipping Day. in November. Thanks to our unique cache, server and network solutions, we could handle huge amounts of requests to online shops, without the need to invest in hundreds of new servers.

Server Load Example

The chart above depicts a spike in the amount of requests on November, 30th (Free Shipping Day). This is an example of a real, production store. Such traffic in IdoSell Shop is handled by a DC32 server, without any downtime, with the estimated page loading time below 1 second. This shop did not utilise available performance boosting options such as turning off price recalculations for each customer e.g. after entering a discount code. What is interesting, it is a few or even a dozen times more than you can achieve with the same computing power and cost while using expensive, tailor made open source solutions, e.g. Magento.

Why is this information important?

The holiday season has just come to an end. Even though throughout this period IdoSell Shops experienced a 60% increase in traffic, we managed to maintain SLA of almost 100%. It means that our clients could use their shops to their maximum potential and did not lose customer trust. We want to continue this high quality of service and make further investments in the best possible web devices, servers, disk arrays and dedicated software. As an IdoSell Shop client, you can feel safe.

Thanks to our investments, we want to set the example of market quality, aiming at 100% SLA for our online shops. We publish information about our SLA, because we have nothing to hide. Information we publish can be easily verified by our customers, e.g. in the CSC.