Uptime

What Does Uptime Mean?

Uptime is a metric that represents the percentage of time that hardware, an IT system or device is successfully operational. It refers to when a system is working, versus downtime, which refers to when a system is not working.

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Techopedia Explains Uptime

One critical role of the terms uptime and downtime is defining the level of success provided by realtime services or systems. It can be difficult to quantify a service’s success or value without these terms. A service level agreement (SLA) or other real-time service contract may include uptime/downtime ratios that show how much time a service is expected to remain operational.

In other cases, IT professionals use uptime to refer to a total consecutive amount of operational time. When a computer system has been consistently running for three weeks, one could refer to a “three-week uptime,” or say, “uptime is at three weeks and counting.”

In general, uptime is considered the default where uptime is contrasted with downtime. Downtime often requires a specific explanation or description, such as downtime for maintenance on the side of your hosting provider, downtime due to malfunction/error, or downtime resulting from a crisis.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.