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Bank of America logs most downtime among top U.S. banks

It was offline the equivalent of more than two days over two months

By Juan Carlos Perez
November 13, 2006 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - Bank of America Corp. experienced the most Web site downtime among top U.S. banks recently, according to a study by Pingdom, a monitoring service based near Stockholm.

Bank of America's Web site was down for a whopping 3,065 minutes -- the equivalent of about two days and three hours -- achieving 96.51% uptime during September and October, Pingdom said in a statement Monday.

First BanCorp's Web site ranked as the second worst with 1,595 minutes of downtime those two months, the equivalent of about one day and two hours, achieving 98.18% of uptime. Rounding out the top five worst offenders were the sites of Compass Bancshares Inc. with 542 minutes (achieving 99.38% uptime), Colonial Bank NA with 453 minutes (99.48% uptime) and The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. with 428 minutes (99.51% uptime).

None of the five banks responded to e-mail and phone requests for comment about the Pingdom study.

Web site downtime leads to lost business and generates customer dissatisfaction, many studies have shown over the years. Depending on the relationship someone has with a company whose site is down, downtime can be a minor inconvenience or a major cause for concern. For example, a person may be less upset about being unable to access an online store than about being unable to log into a bank or brokerage account to make a financial transaction.

On the flip side, 36 banks had downtime of less than two hours, and among those, six banks achieved 100% uptime, which means their Web sites were unavailable for four minutes or less during those two months: Comerica Inc., KeyCorp's KeyBank, Wachovia Bank NA, Marshall & Ilsley Corp.'s M&I Bank, National City Corp. and Washington Mutual Inc.

For this study, Pingdom used its GIGRIB (Green is good, red is bad) monitoring service, which checks the availability of thousands of Web sites using a network of distributed computers that are owned by GIGRIB users, said Peter Alguacil, an IT analyst at the company.

People who sign up for GIGRIB can have up to 10 Web sites monitored for free, and in exchange they agree to make their PCs nodes in the monitoring network. The collected data is publicly available.

Web sites are monitored using different machines in different locations, and a Web site is only flagged as being down if a majority of the computers tapping it are unable to access its home page, Alguacil said. The checks are very light HTTP "head requests" that are satisfied with basic site information and don't require the entire home page to be loaded, Alguacil said.

GIGRIB uses computers in various parts of the world, including the U.S., Europe and Asia. 

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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