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Availability Management Is Harder Than It Looks

It is two o’clock in the morning and you are craving some lo mein from your favorite Chinese food place. What do you do? Well, if you are lucky, you call them up and place an order, but what if they were not open? Everyone wants 24/7 availability, especially in service management. In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy examines this 100 percent availability model and assesses its actual feasibility.

Realistic Availability

Within most organizations, the customers and the providers sit down together to decide when the service hours should be. Having 24/7 availability, though elusive, is highly expensive. The key staff should have a voice in this discussion because it is their work that will be directly affected. It is also imperative that the agreed hours are made well-known and clear. This will help in the avoidance of disgruntled employees during downtime.

Understand that not all downtime is the same, even if the formula equates every minute the same. For example, if an organization is down on the last day of the month, their financial department will be disturbed greater than on the first day of the month. Additionally, keep in mind what the customer may want or need, because they will be impacted greatly by downtime.

What does “available” really mean? Some components are straightforward, and they are either running or they are not. Something like a network is a little more arduous to assess. Oftentimes with a network outage, it is still usable; it is just delayed. “Service availability” is an entirely different game because not all services are the same, nor do they all have the same impact. Two people may define “down” differently, which only complicates the definition of availability. Sometimes certain customers believe if something cannot be archived, it is down. Perceptions are difficult to assess.

In order to obtain the best results, it is important to maintain specific definitions and parameters. Just remember that downtime is different to everyone! You can read the original post here:

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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