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, 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.