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99.999% uptime vs 99.9% uptime: the difference two extra “nines” makes

100 billion business-related emails are sent every day. That’s according The Radicati Group in their report Email Market 2013–2017. As a business user, you want the ones that are addressed to you to arrive instantly.

So when a business email provider like Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 offers you a 99.9% uptime levels, that could certainly sound like it’s reliable enough—that is, until you do the math.

Because over the course of a year, 99.9% uptime—or “three nines”, in industry terms—adds up to more than eight hours of unplanned downtime. In fact, when a provider offers you 99.9% uptime, here’s what they’re also telling you: “You should imagine two days over the next year when your email will be unavailable for four-hour stretches at a time.”

Look for “five nines”


There are other options for cloud-based services like email. Intermedia’s Exchange Email, for example, offers a 99.999% financially backed uptime Service Level Agreement. (Here’s the legal paperwork to prove it.)

This equates to us saying that you should expect less than 10 minutes of downtime over the course of a year—and, if we should fail to deliver, we’ll compensate you for it.

Three nines vs. five nines: it’s a difference that may not seem significant in your decision-making process… until the day your email is down for four hours.

Learn how Intermedia offers 99.999% uptime

How do we do it? By architecting our cloud specifically for reliability, performance, and data protection. You can read more about it in our white paper, “Not All Clouds Are Created Equal.”

That paper is a bit technical, though. So why not call our sales team at 800.379.7729? They can tell you all about our cloud infrastructure AND our 99.999% SLA. Also, if your current provider only offers “three nines”, make sure you ask about our free migration services. We’ll actually do the heavy lifting to get your data into our “five nines” environment—at no additional cost.


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About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia