Thankfully a server outage is a rare thing at QiQ and clients should always check to see if an apparent outage of their site is impacting just them or everyone. http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com is a good site to establish if there is a potential issue with a server.
We have had enough outages over our 19 years of operation to refine our processes for such an eventually.
This outlines what happens when we spot an outage:
- We check our servers are working every 5 minutes from one of 17 random worldwide locations. If we do not get a response to one of these checks (after it is automatically verified for a false alarm) the alarm bells start to ring — well support staff receive emails and SMS messages advising of the outage.
- We automatically update our network status page. This can be reached at www.qiqstatus.com. The QiQ status page is located off-site on a totally independent network so should not be impacted by the cause of whatever outage is being suffered.
- If the problem is not something we can promptly fix we notify the datacentre where the server is located for assistance. We do this to get issues resolved as quickly as possible. Data centre monitoring may also have picked up on the problem so often they are part way in finding a solution before we even contact them.
- In the event of an extended outage we update our Twitter & Facebookpages. We direct clients to our main status page so we only have to update one site with the latest details.
- We add a message to the top of our hosting web pages directing visitors to the QiQ Status Page.
- We now answer support tickets from clients predominantly checking that the ticket is raised as a result of the outage and not some unrelated problem. We direct clients to our Status page so they can monitor for the latest information.
- Throughout these steps we continue to liaise with data centre staff gaining as much information about the issue as reasonable and support them in their endevours to getting the services working again. We publish updates as we receive them to our status page.
Thankfully outages are rare and we focus effort on preventing problems now we have a good process in place for the rare occasions a server goes down.
For more details on QiQ web hosting, please visist www.qiq.host