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A big thing that I see a lot in the content and service provider world, when some outage or negative event happens the line is always “we apologize for the inconvenience.” This is another saying that irritates me to no end. I say this because over the past 36 hours tifa’s host, The Planet, had a couple of outages. I noticed in all their posts they never once mentioned inconvenience.

Every hosting customer of every company I’ve worked for are almost all universally businesses, using our network connections or servers to run their business. When something happens to their infrastructure, it’s not a mere inconvenience. It’s a risk with a measurable negative effect, that is in essence, causing pain to the bottom line.

Going to the store and finding there’s no milk is an inconvienience. Making plans with a friend who later flakes is an inconvienience. Not being able to access your online banking or buy tickets online is an inconvienince to the consumer, but not for the company who’s job is to provide the online services. For some of them, their entire business is built on your mouse clicks, SMS messages, telephone calls and eyeballs.

I personally will not insult your intelligence by apologizing for an inconvienience to your business, if you won’t insult mine by claiming an event stopped you from earning part of your $500 billion annual revenue on your Windows 2000 server (true story).

The corollary to this is, if you really do have a healthy revenue stream that depends on your internet connection and servers, then for god’s sake, invest in it! Let’s be honest, things can and will happen. It’s basic risk management. People will make honest mistakes, automated systems will be mis-programed, power supplies fail. There’s only so much you can do. The technology and know how to help is certainly out there.

I’ve seen far too many solutions riddled with single-points-of-failures that could’ve survived with even basic things such as bonded/teamed NICs in servers or redundant firewalls. Hell, even doing backups and actually practicing restores is worthwhile.

Otherwise, I have zero sympathy when your only Windows 2000 server is down for patches or when human error disconnects something, and you claim you’re losing millions. (another true story)

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