Last night it was eBay’s turn, as a power outage at a San Francisco area data center affected some auctions for about two hours and left the eBay main page inaccessible for approximately 20 minutes. This quickly led to news stories about the outage and its impact upon the millions of eBay sellers, whose busineses and cash flow are directly affected by downtime. eBay is offering credits and auction extensions to sellers whose auctions were unavailable or delayed.
The widespread attention to such brief outages serves as a reminder that as the Internet becomes more essential, downtime becomes a more critical issue for web sites and their users and customers. Netcraft’s Hosting Monitoring and Outage Alerting provides independent tracking of downtime at major service providers and e-mail alerts when outages occur. This data can be useful in evaluating provider performance and documenting uptime for service-level agreements. For providers, accurate information comparative network performance significantly changes the playing field in favor of hosts with quality networks and reliable service offerings.