Expectations

Last night (actually early this morning) the FeedLounge queue slowed down quite a bit and, of course, some of the users noticed (everything was back to normal by late this morning).

As I noted in the forum thread, this is the only time in the last month this has happened, and I’m pretty sure1 it’s the only time in the last couple months. Regardless, it shouldn’t happen and we’re adding yet another layer of watchdog processes to help ensure it doesn’t in the future.

Back in mid-February, when we were upgrading to the Eirik release, we experienced a day of downtime which riled up a number of folks and we had a spirited conversation about it. In the forum discussion one of our users pointed out that a day of downtime was only 17 cents of the $5 monthly subscription cost.

A developer friend of mine noticed the hubbub from folks complaining about missing a day of service and sent me a :scare: keep your head up :/scare: e-mail with the following point:

If people are more than 17 cents worth of upset at missing a day of FeedLounge, then they obviously feel that missing a day of FeedLounge is worth more than 17 cents to them. If this is the case, then they are obviously not paying what the service is worth to them and they should be happy that they are getting the service at such a great discount!

This made me smile. :)

A comment in this morning’s thread reminded me of this exchange.

This morning’s queue slowdown wasn’t a full service outage, as the FeedLounge interface was up the entire time and folks had access to all of the items fetched before this queue lull. I’m also not sure of the exact length of the slowdown, but the “7 hours without new items” quoted in the forums is probably pretty accurate. A few quick calculations in LeanCalc show that a full outage of 7 hours is less than a nickel of service (per user), so a half outage is somewhere around 2-3 cents.

Since we went live in January, FeedLounge has experienced the following service outages:

This works out to 98.8% of uptime (98.7% if you count the queue slowness this morning) in the first 3 months of a hosted web service – pretty darn good! Since our 22 hours of scheduled downtime in February, we’ve had 100% uptime for the ‘Lounge itself and 99.6% uptime for the Queue.

While we understand and welcome the high expectations of our customers, it’s nice to step back and look at the big picture view as well. :)

  1. Our bandwidth stats page doesn’t give me easy access to previous months. [back]

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