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Why Website Downtime Is Amateur Hour

It’s almost 2013 and top websites like Facebook, Tumblr, Buzzfeed, Reddit and Gawker still experience occasional downtime. I guess web apps are too complicated to be highly available across multiple end points and it’s too expensive to run a mirrored active-active setup or at minimum, active-passive infrastructure. Maybe it’s too hard or not even worth it. Perhaps end users have become okay with intermittent outages, resulting in a ‘why bother’ mentality in these web presences’ IT departments.

As someone that has been caught “ambulance chasing” after outages and hating that our sales team needs to resort to those tactics, I find myself asking, “Why?” Sometimes I feel like we’re selling health insurance when I feel like we should really be selling gym memberships.

Please Stand ByDuring Hurricane Sandy when Squarespace preserved uptime, they had to run fuel for two days up and down seventeen (SEVENTEEN!) flights of stairs in their NYC data center to help keep the generators running. They were commended as they should be and their CEO/Founder Anthony Casalena was leading the charge, later blogging his tale.

I found myself proud of our managed DNS client of over two years, but upset with our inability to help them be more redundant to begin with. I couldn’t understand how could we not be deeper into them. Maybe we were viewed as too ‘salesy’ in the discovery process. We should have helped them setup a Geo Traffic Management feature for hosting diversity.

Just because our DNS platform was operating perfectly, we’re not off scot-free. I challenged our team to ask ourselves if we really prepared Anthony, Rolando and their team well enough. Had we done our part as uptime evangelists?

In 2012, we became a $30m+ business. 45% of the revenue was earned through self-signup on 25% of enterprise sales opportunities (which rounds out the other 55% of our revenue) flows through that website. We get it. Add that onto the nearly 20 global data centers that encompass our DNS network and email delivery infrastructure and we LIVE our mantra ‘Uptime is the Bottom Line.’

It’s now time to more proactively share it with you. If we go down, we fail. If you go down, we fail. It’s that simple.

What does downtime cost your business in brand credibility and revenue? I did a DNS ROI analysis and email ROI analysis recently, but simple blog posts aren’t enough. Squarespace stayed up that night, kept the thousands of sites on their platform up and kept a lot of other sites in that data center up. I can’t help but think, however, that it shouldn’t have required such amazing heroism.

Dyn enables companies to operate multiple data center facilities using our cloud load balancing offering without the need for expensive hardware. In other words, we make assuring your uptime that much easier.

From here on out, you’re going to see Dyn take a much stronger position in thought leadership and market education. Not just about our company, products, clients, people, but more so in Internet uptime, speed, scaling large, redundant, complex and highly available systems. Stay tuned for much more on this topic in 2013. We are stewards of the Internet’s uptime and reliability.

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Kyle York
Whois: Kyle York

Kyle York is GM & VP, Product Strategy, and has been a long-time executive, having joined in 2008. Over the years, he has held go-to-market leadership roles in worldwide sales, marketing, and services. In his current role, Kyle focuses on overall corporate strategy, including: positioning and evangelism, new market entry, strategic alliances and partnerships, M&A, and business development. Outside of Oracle Dyn, Kyle is an angel investor, entrepreneur, and advisor in several startups.