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High Availability and Disaster Recovery


High Availability is the IT concept that offer to the users continuously access to the resources needed to do their tasks and to organizations the possibility to offer services to their customers without interruption.
When a system is inaccessible by the users, or cannot deliver services, it is define as unavailable. The goal is to have the key services available 99.999% of time, process known as 5 nines availability. This translates in a downtime per year of 5.26 minutes.

Disaster recovery is the process, policies and procedures that helps the recovery of the critical infrastructure of an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster.
Disaster recovery focuses on the IT or technology systems that support business functions.

User Benefits

High availability typically protects against local issues such as application failures or system-level problems, while disaster recovery protects against larger outages such as catastrophic data-center failure due to natural disasters, fire, electrical failure, or physical attack.

The major benefits for an end-user, when and infrastructure is build on the high-availability principle, is that he will never experience downtimes when a critical system fail.
Applications and data will be always responsive and available to work with.
Organization can continue their business without interruption thus allowing them to serve their customers.

While in case of a 99% availability, the downtime period over a year is 3.65 days, in case of a high availability implementation the downtime is 5.26 minutes.

Business Impact

Market position, competition and security standards push organizations to implement high availability systems and disaster recovery plans.
The starting point is to find out how much does it really cost your organization in case of a critical system failure or when your services are unavailable for your customer and business partners.
Important question to be answered is how much my organization can afford to lose in case that a critical system is not responsive.
In short, the ability to recover after a outage affect your organization in many ways. Not only that market position cane be lost due to the fact that customers do not see a real partner in you, but the relations with your business partner will be affected as well.

Here is a table with uptime and downtime per year which shown the amount of time when a service or system is down over a year, calculated on a different percentage of availability.


Availability % Downtime/year
90% 36.5 days
98% 7.30 days
99% 3.65 days
99.9% 8.76 hours
99.95% 4.38 hours
99.99% 52.56 minutes
99.999% 5.26 minutes
99.9999% 31.5 seconds

What it means for your organization to be unable to offer services for one hour? If we take the case of a global online store, loses can be quite great and, more of this, the customers will go to other supplier.
If we take a financial institutions have the same situation. They have usually customers that relay on their services. They trust you because they know that in case of a disaster, you will be able to offer same level of services.

Products supporting this technology

FalconStor Visionsolutions
  • manufacturer