Recently, I had to modify one of my company's Microsoft SQL Server systems, and the modification required me to reboot the machine. The server is a Compaq ProLiant 5500 with dual-Pentium II Xeon processors and a RAID 5 hardware configuration, and it runs Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 5 (SP5). This machine supports our company's call centers and e-commerce Web site.

I couldn't remember the last time I'd had to reboot the system, so I used the Uptime (uptime.exe) utility, which you can download from Microsoft's Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/downloads/management/uptime/default.asp, to determine the server's current uptime. As Figure 1, page 18, shows, the server had run for 1 year since the last time I rebooted it.

Many people tell me that Microsoft products don't offer high availability and uptime. My SQL Server system proves them wrong.