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7/27
2012
Terry Slattery

Do You Have a Five-Nines Network?

Converged networks typically require a higher availability metric than non-converged networks (there are exceptions, typically in the financial world). Five-nines is often referenced as the basic level of availability that traditional telephony networks used as their metric. If you do the math on 365 days X 86400 seconds/day, that winds up being 5.25 minutes per year of downtime.

Network availability can be measured any number of ways, some of which make it much easier to achieve five-nines availability. If I look at any outage that affects more than 10% of the customers and sum that over the year I get one number. But I can also say that since it affected only X% of the customers, I get to pro-rate it by that same percentage, which makes it much easier to achieve a higher availability value.

Whatever the methodology for calculating the availability metric, there are a number of fundamental things that you can do that will improve a network and its availability. I’m writing about what you can do in a series of blog posts at nojitter.com, starting with a blog “Want a Five-Nines Network?

The first blog post talks about what you can do in the network itself. The foremost things are to run one OS version per hardware platform and to keep the hardware up to date. Yes, this can be expensive. Running a five-nines network does cost extra money. But if it makes more money as a result, it is a good investment.

-Terry

Terry Slattery

Terry Slattery

Principal Architect

Terry Slattery is a Principal Architect at NetCraftsmen, an advanced network consulting firm that specializes in high-profile and challenging network consulting jobs. Terry is currently working on network management, SDN, business strategy consulting, and interesting legal cases. He is the founder of Netcordia, inventor of NetMRI, has been a successful technology innovator in networking during the past 20 years, and is co-inventor on two patents. He has a long history of network consulting and design work, including some of the first Cisco consulting and training. As a consultant to Cisco, he led the development of the current Cisco IOS command line interface. Prior to Netcordia, Terry founded Chesapeake Computer Consultants, which became a Cisco premier training and consulting partner. At Chesapeake, he co-invented and patented the v-LAB system to provide hands-on access to real hardware for the hands-on component of internetwork training classes. Terry co-authored the successful McGraw-Hill text "Advanced IP Routing in Cisco Networks," is the second CCIE (1026) awarded, and is a regular speaker at Enterprise Connect and Interop. He currently blogs at TechTarget, No Jitter and our very own NetCraftsmen.

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