CloudEndure Study: 86% of the Most Visited Sites in the U.S. Had Downtime in Q2 2016

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Study showed 41% of top 100,000 sites had 99.99% uptime or better; and a whopping 51% of Fortune 1000 companies had no downtime at all in the second fiscal quarter.

For the second time this year, CloudEndure has published results that illustrate how effectively top companies and organizations handle website availability. This quarter’s numbers revealed that the top websites were able to achieve even greater availability than earlier this year.

In order to produce these results, CloudEndure tracked the 100,000 most visited websites in the U.S. – a list that includes favorites like YouTube, Amazon, Twitter, and PayPal – as ranked by the audience measurement service Quantcast. Utilizing a tracking engine that our in-house developers created, we closely monitored the top 100,000 websites 24/7 throughout the entire second quarter of 2016.

Thanks to these reliable numbers, we learned that more websites were able to achieve 99.99% (or “four nines”) availability than in the last fiscal quarter (more on that in just a bit). We also discovered that the crème de la crème, the sites of Fortune 1000 companies, improved their availability by 31%. Whereas in the first quarter of 2016, 39% of Fortune 1000 company sites had zero downtime, this past quarter 51% had zero downtime.

Availability Breakdown by CloudEndure

In the first quarter of 2016, CloudEndure found that 7% of the most visited websites had 99.99% (or “four nines”) availability. In the second quarter, 27% achieved “four nines.” That’s right: In just one fiscal quarter, the number of organizations with a high mark of availability nearly quadrupled! “Four nines” is an average of 13.4 minutes of downtime in the quarter, and would represent 52.56 minutes of downtime if stretched through the year.

Probably because there was an increase in organizations hitting “four nines,” the percentage of those achieving 99.9% (or “three nines”) availability decreased. Last quarter, 52% of them achieved “three nines.” In the second quarter, 41% hit “three nines.” Over the course of a year, that’s an average of only 8.76 hours of downtime.

There was also a slight increase in the percentage of websites that had no downtime. In the first fiscal quarter, 11% of the 100,000 most visited websites had no downtime whatsoever; in the second quarter, 14% were able to hit the gold standard of availability. (On the flip side, this means 86% of the top 100,000 sites had some amount of downtime.)

Not everyone could boast of no downtime, or even “three nines.” CloudEndure’s tracking engine revealed that 17% of the top 100,000 sites achieved only 99% (“two nines”) availability, but that’s down from 29% in the first quarter. Still, 1% of them had even greater struggles than 99% availability: They reached only 90% (“one nine”) availability – which means those relatively few sites were down, on average, nine days over the quarter, an amazing average of 36.5 days of downtime over the course of a full year.  

Availability Goals of Popular Companies Are Common

Earlier this year, CloudEndure surveyed 141 directors, CIOs, and managers of large, small, and mid-sized companies to get their thoughts on downtime, migration, and other cloud computing functions.

The 2016 Disaster Recovery Survey showed that a vast majority of organizations (74%) had a service availability goal of 99.9% or better. Our review of the top Quantcast sites in the second quarter of 2016 showed that 82% of the most visited websites in the U.S. indeed achieved this goal. That was a vast improvement from only a few months ago when the standard was met by 70% of the sites.

If you’re interested in seeing how downtime plays out over the course of three months and a year, here is a chart that explains it all:

Availability % Downtime per year Downtime per quarter
90% (“one nine”) 36.5 days 9 days
99% (“two nines”) 3.65 days 21.6 hours
99.9% (“three nines”) 8.76 hours 2.2 hours
99.99 (“four nines”) 52.56 minutes 13.4 minutes
99.999% (“five nines”) 5.26 minutes 1.3 minutes
99.9999% (“six nines”) 31.5 seconds 7.7 seconds


A Remarkable 39% of the Top 1,000 Websites Had No Downtime

CloudEndure reviewed the availability of the top websites within the top 100,000 website list – the favorites among the favorites. We wanted to see if the 1,000 most visited sites also had achieved better availability than the rest of the pack. As we saw in the first quarter, these 1,000 sites once again outperformed the rest of the bunch.

Indeed, 39% of the top 1,000 websites had no downtime at all in Q2 2016. This demonstrates that the more views a website attracts, the company or organization behind it is working harder to prevent downtime.

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