Web Tortoise

2012-Aug-22

Are You Available?

Filed under: WebTortoiseAnchor001 — Tags: , , , — leovasiliou @ 01:59 PM EST

Response:

Hello!  This #WebTortoise post was written 2012-AUG-22 at 01:39 PM ET (about #WebTortoise).

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Consider the difference between Availability versus Performance when choosing which assets to monitor and/or measure.
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Hello, Everyone.  This is a Web Tortoise anchor post.  Its academic material will be referenced in future posts.

In order for us to measure a website’s Performance, the website must first be Available.  Sometimes Availability and Performance are mistakenly discussed as a single item, but they are clear and distinct from each other:  We _monitor_ Availability, whereas we _measure_ Performance.  In Web Tortoise World, the distinction goes something like this:

Availability:  Was the website available?

Performance:  If the website was available, how long did it take to download?

After is distinguished between Availability versus Performance, decide which assets to monitor and/or measure.

Document Complete / OnLoad:

_The following is optional reading material._

Here are the ITIL Version 3 definitions of Availability and Performance.

Availability:

Ability of a Configuration Item or IT Service to perform its agreed function when required

Performance:

A measure of what is achieved or delivered by a system, person, team, process, or IT Service

As previously distinguished, we _monitor_ Availability, whereas we _measure_ Performance.  Here are some non-IT, anecdotal examples:

Availability:  Was the coffee shop open?

Performance:  If the coffee shop was open, how long was the wait?

Availability:  Did you make it to work this morning?

Performance:  If you made it to work this morning, how long was the drive?

Availability:  Did you read this post?

Performance:  If you read this post, how long did it take?

As the answers to the Availability questions are either only “yes” or “no”, say Availability is a binary attribute.  That is, it’s either “available” or “not available”.  Performance, however, is a Measurement.  That is [ example ], “It took me 20 minutes to get a cup of coffee this morning” or, “Traffic was terrible, it took me 90 minutes to drive 22 miles!”  Alternatively, [ example ], “The coffee shop was closed, so there was no wait” or, “There was a major accident and the roadway was not available; I did not make the drive to work.”  In those last two examples, we are unable to measure Performance because the coffe shop and roadway were not available.  In other words, the ability to measure Performance depends on the asset being Available.

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