These are our definitions. We understand that your emergency is YOUR emergency and we will treat it with the urgency that you define. These outage classifications serve to define terminology that we can use collectively to describe what's happening
An outage is something that came out of nowhere and got you. It happens when something changes suddenly. For contrast, a major bug in your software is probably not an outage if it's been there a long time. If the system worked on Monday, broke on Tuesday and we got it back up Tuesday afternoon, and it was available able Wednesday morning, then that was an outage.
The system is down or severely degraded. You may be losing business. Your costs may be mounting because your staff is having to work many extra hours right now.
We will drop what we are doing to help you through a Class 1 Critical Outage. We sometimes call these "Down Conditions".
You can usually work around these or delay some things while it gets fixed. Your staff is not working at peak efficiency while this outage is in progress. If this keeps up, costs will mount. You can afford to be in this situation, but it's costly. Customers might not even perceive the outage, or they may perceive it as a slowdown, not a failure.
These are the most common outages. A working system has become broken. You can work around it. You would like it fixed.