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Two Percent

We’re in the process of rolling out some new analytics tools and we’ve been looking at some headline numbers.  The first headline number is 83,000,000 – that’s how many API calls we’ve run since we started APIContext and, because we believe in learning from data, that’s how many records we have in our database.

The second number, which is what surprised us, of that number about 1,600,000 are out and out failures – that is the API returned, for some reason, a 5XX error.  We have a much higher rate of 4XX errors, but they could be related to token problems and items that show the API is functioning correctly.  This number also doesn’t include the non-zero number of API failures that include a HTTP 200 code, showing, yet again, that 200 is not all ok.

So, think about that for a bit. Two percent of all the API calls we see fail.  Imagine if other services failed 2% of the time.  If you were on a plane and the inflight in-seat entertainment system was only 98% effective, on a typical large plane, with 300 seats, that would be 6 people without service.  Now think bigger, some APIs have millions, if not billions of calls a day.  That’s quite literally millions of failed API calls per day.

The cloud simply must do better as it becomes an essential part of the global eco-system.


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