What Does "Five Nines" Mean?

What Does "Five Nines" Mean?

The 99.999% Availability and Reliability of Cloud Computing Services

Definition of Five Nines

Five Nines describes the Availability of Hardware, software, or service at 99.999 % of the time required. So, systems or services are only unavailable for less than 5.15 minutes per year for planned or unplanned downtime.

This availability challenge is most used in cloud computing services such as google cloud, Aws, Azure, government, and so on.

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Goal of Five Nines

Ensure 100% of Availability as well as Reliability of Hardware, software, or services.

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Downtime table:


Tools and techniques to Achieve the 99.999% Availability

Achieving Five Nines over time is a high challenge. It involves Load balancing, redundancy, etc.

  • Power Supply
  • Processors
  • Shared components in case of failure.
  • Backup components
  • Data Analysis for Monitoring services performance
  • Machine Learning for Predicting Malfunctions that can proactively alert network operators.

Use cases of 99.999% Availability

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For service providers, five nines are high challenges and need a commitment approach due to the terms of services being defined on SLAs (Service Level Agreements), so, a violation of an SLA often includes a financial penalty.

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