More and more companies are moving to a Managed Service Provider. This is because they need to move to an online environment since their physical environment has been seriously affected by the downtime.
Retail outlets have closed, the malls they are in have closed, and foot traffic is non-existent. Income has plummeted. They need to move quickly to survive and don’t have the cash to invest in the upgraded in-house infrastructure they need. MSP’s can provide the answer. Capex is moved to Opex, and the new e-commerce environment can be established very quickly.
What is the meaning of VPS?
A popular environment is a virtual private server (“VPS”). A single server hosts several clients, each in its server environment, shielded from the others. They share the server’s physical resources and often manage their server remotely with their existing staff. In other cases, the MSP will manage their server for them.
Downtime is always an issue, and it is natural for the customer to blame the MSP for causing it.
It can be the MSP’s fault, but it is more likely to be the customer that has caused the downtime by their actions.
What are major types of downtime for your website?
The entire Data Centre is down.
The customer cannot reach or use their applications
Some features and functions do not work correctly, but the main business activities can continue.
Correcting catastrophic failures is the responsibility of the MSP. Depending on the reason, rectifying business-critical problems could be the MSP, the customer, or a joint effort. Solving irritating problems is usually down to the customer.
How tricky catastrophic failures can be due to downtime?
- The shared server allocates its resources according to the need between the servers hosted on its infrastructure. If a customer overuses a resource, that can cause conflict and poor performance of the server from time to time.
- For example, suppose a customer runs a procedure that monopolizes the network interface, perhaps uploading a product price list or catalog update. In that case, it potentially slows down responses for other customers using the same interface.
- Waiting for resources causes time-outs. Suppose a process needs a response within a specified time, and the resources to support the request are not made available.
- As a result, the request might not be processed and needs to be retried. This could cause issues in processing payments.
- It is natural in a self-managed server environment for the customer to attempt to maximize the resources available to them. They configure their operating system and if allowed, their interface to the operating system managing the VSP environment to optimize their resource allocation.
- This might cause issues with other users of the same physical infrastructure. In the worst case, it could cause their systems to fail.
- Software updates. A customer unilaterally installing a systems software upgrade without telling the MSP has been known to cause an individual server or the entire VPS server to shut down, As a result it deny service to all the servers on that infrastructure. It is unlikely, but it can happen.
- It can happen that after a software upgrade, an interface that previously worked no longer works correctly.
Some issues causing poor performance and downtime are out of the MSP’s control. As examples:
What are customers actually thinking about this pandemic?
Customers usually blame the MSP for poor Internet performance, but that is not always the case. Customers can misconfigure their end of the connection, especially if it is a VPN connection. It could be misrouted through a slow link.
Application software could be poorly configured or use too many resources, so for example, multi-media on their web pages.
A customers’ natural reaction is to blame the MSP when they have a problem, but often it is not the case. A close relationship between the MSP and the customer, particularly where the customer manages their server environment, will minimize problems and ensure speedier resolutions.