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Downtime means that a system or service is not working at a given time. The term is usually used in discussions about the provision of information technology systems or services.
Downtime is also known as idle time.
Business managers and those in positions of responsibility plan for downtime, which is called planned downtime. Otherwise, unplanned downtime has a negative effect on productivity and business processes.
In the provision of services, downtime and its opposite, uptime, are often covered in what is called a service level agreement (SLA), which spells out the extent to which a client can depend on the service. Uptime provisions provide for a limited amount of downtime in any given time frame. This is an important aspect in valuing services, since most services benefit the client through consistent real-time access. This becomes even more important as more of the IT services that businesses and other parties depend on are increasingly being delivered through the cloud or through Web delivery systems.