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I subscribed to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) which promises 99.99% of up time guarantee. But I often encounter down time, slow access time and I'm thinking about how to "get them".

Is there anyway/ service that allows me to prove that the web hosting provider isn't delivering the 99.99% up time guarantee?

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Good luck with that. Despite there being external monitoring tools, you'd have a hard time claiming back from a flaky provider. Does the uptime % reflect the box, the link to the box, the power to the box, the next tier of box, the backup service, etc. You need to have a good relationship with a reliable supplier for SLAs to "mean" anything in the firstplace. Rackspace offer 100% SLAs that mean nothing, networking between Rackspace VPSs can become laggy and fail with no compensation. Also human error on their side is not reimbursed. Pick someone reliable first then work on SLAs. – Metalshark Apr 19 '11 at 4:59
@metalshark, I found this useful. It would get my vote if moved from Comment to Answer! – richaux Apr 19 '11 at 8:50
@richaux won't move it to an answer, as I want to see how those who persist with upholding quoted SLAs manage to do it. There is a part of me that wishes it isn't a case of "resolved: won't fix". – Metalshark Apr 19 '11 at 16:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The quick answer is that there are companies that monitor websites, pindom being the most well know. for a single site many offer free services. I use http://mon.itor.us theyb have a really nice user interface.

If your website is unresponsive there are many other more likely causes than connectivity issues of your hosting provider. Ideally you should see if they will give you the address of another site on the same node, if both sites are down then you have good cause to blame the host. If only your site is unresponsive then you will need to do your own trouble shooting assuming the VPS is unmanaged.

It's likely that the uptime guarantee refers to network connectivity, normally this is tested by looking for a ping response from your server. Even if you can prove the server was unreachable from multiple locations and that it was the entire node not just your VPS it probably wont be worth it. A typical SLA might offer days service credit per hours down time. Your efforts will be better spent migrating to a more reliable host than "getting" your current one.

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I'd say your best bet would be to get a 3rd party monitoring service - similar to Pingdom - to hold them to it. Ideally, having two independently-maintained uptime services to verify any downtime would be pretty difficult for someone to dispute.

Granted, even if you can prove that their 99.99% uptime promise has been broken, that doesn't mean you can get anything out of the company itself. I'd agree with @Metalshark's comment: start out with a reliable host, and that should hopefully make this a moot point.

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