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In the last 5 years I noticed Yahoo Mail and Gmail services work really well, with some few short downtimes. And they are FREE services!!!

How can a Webhosting company with cPanel provide a mail service with no downtimes longer than 1 hour, and the few downtimes longer than 30 minutes should really be max 2/3 times in a year???

Webhosters sell paied mail services, so their customers usually expect these service to be even better (or at least not worst in downtime that Gmail or Yahoo mail). A downtime in the mail server is a terrible experience for the non-tech-geek final customer who is used to Yahoo mail/Gmail, and immediately thinks the Webhoster does not deserve to be trusted anymore.

I know many of you will be greedy to suggest their experience with some hosting company, I'm always open and happy to new hosting company suggestions coming from you, anyway this question would like to be a bit more generic, more about what technology could a webhoster adopt to avoid long mail server downtimes.

Thanks for reading, and for any replies.


THE QUESTION ENDS HERE!!! Read below only if you are interested in reading why I came in asking this question

I'm coming to ask this question because I tried many webhosters in the last 6 years, and I ended up with one I was happy about. Mail server downtimes were so few (less than one a year) and never longer than couple of hours. I monitor them with servermojo.com and I know some other downtimes happened but they were so short (less than 10 minutes) that our customers have not ever noticed.

But just last week happened that the server crashed (according to what they saied, due to RAID controller failure) and the mail went down for 24 hours!!! For the above reasons, I still trust them and I believe it was something of extraordinary unexpected that hopefully won't happen again (they also recovered all data thanks to the backup they always do).

They told me that no webhosters (even using VPS) could save me from hw failure. But I'm wondering if there is a way (like cloud hosting or something) in order to provide a better service. Otherwise how can Gmail and Yahoo mail service be so reliable in term of no downtime periods?

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closed as not a real question by SvW, Chopper3 Jul 20 '11 at 16:11

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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3 Answers 3

Well, it's "easy". Just throw alot of money at the IT department for more and more redundancy and failover stuff. The will start to buy and build things like

  • DNS load-balancing / failover
  • Application level load-balancing / failover
  • Hardware level (RAID-Controllers, storage systems, etc.)

In the end, the have the same number of failures per server, but you and your customers will not even notice this, because of the high redundancy. You will only "see" the big outages (e.g. at a local peering partner).

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cloud hosting is just a buzz word for VPS with some added stuff in it. If you've been on ec2 long enough with enough instances you've experienced your host machine going down for hours.

There are ways that a webhost can limit downtime. You can use a cloud based FS for all your clients like xtemefs or a clustered FS like glusterfs. Then put multiple web servers behind a load balancer so if you lose one server you still have another up and running. It just shifts your point of failure somewhere else.

The reality is that you can't really offer 100% uptime. Gmail has been down.. I've experienced it. My point is if Facebook can go down for hours you will also at one point.

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In the last 5 years I noticed Yahoo Mail and Gmail services work really well, with some few short downtimes. And they are FREE services!!!

How can a Webhosting company with cPanel provide a mail service with no downtimes longer than 1 hour, and the few downtimes longer than 30 minutes should really be max 2/3 times in a year???

24x7 techs, lots of servers, and lots of expertise. They may be free services, but they're far from free to run. Every extra nine of reliability costs more than the last.

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