Windows Servers Continue to Shine in Reliability Surveys, Downtime No Longer a Concern

For integration engines, uptime is absolutely critical to keep clinical information flowing within the four walls and outside to affiliated providers.

Throughout the 1990s, Microsoft Windows was marred by the perception of unreliability both in the desktop and server space. However in the server space, Microsoft has long since closed the gap in reliability with its competitors.

According to ITIC’s latest Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey (2013), Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 has whittled its annual unplanned downtime to an average of 13.2 minutes, the lowest level ever reported for the OS. This improvement comes on the heels of Microsoft being the top rated vendor in the 2011.  While historically, Microsoft’s server software had underperformed in comparison to its main competitors – IBM’s AIX, Canonical Ltd.’s Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise – the Windows OS now sits cozy with virtually identical downtime stats across multiple surveys.

Avg Downtime for Windows Server 2008

Additionally, Microsoft climbed to the top in customer satisfaction ratings this year: 71% of customers rated the company’s service either “Excellent” or “Very Good.”

Previously, from the 2011 Global Server Hardware and OS Reliability Survey conducted by ITIC, Microsoft Windows Server showed significant improvement just as it had in the previous survey of 2009. Laura DiDio, Principal at ITIC, commented:

“Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 served up the biggest surprise in the survey, scoring impressive reliability gains and making it one of the top three most reliable, mainstream server OSs.”

In the 2011 survey, 92% of Windows Server 2008 R2 users experienced one or no Tier 3 outage per server per year, scoring the highest in this important category. This was compared to 90% for IBM’s AIX 7.1, 86% of Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and 84% of Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX 11i v3. Tier 3 outages are rated as the most severe, typically lasting for four or more hours, involving data loss, and requiring multiple members of the IT department to perform remediation.

comparison of operating sysems

The survey noted that one of the key reasons for Tier 2 and Tier 3 outages was due to trouble applying patches. This emphasizes the importance of having a high availability solution for your integration engine so that even if there is trouble applying patches that no connection downtime will be required.

And all of this praise doesn’t take into account the customer service of the hardware providers used to run Windows server software.

Perhaps in an effort to match its companion’s newfound glory, Dell also holds the crown for customer service in the server hardware segment. IBM and Stratus Technologies trail close behind while Oracle struggles to keep up with the pack.

Learn more about the performance of Windows Server 2008 in healthcare by downloading the "Comparing Operating Systems for Interfacing" white paper.  It addresses several different concerns when considering an operating system using data from numerous independent studies. Topics include:

  • Patches
  • Security
  • Downtime
  • Load Handling
  • Hardware Costs