Downtimes are part of MMOs. It's the nature of a game that relies heavily on server infrastructure. EVE Online typically has downtime daily - but the Icelandic developer is experimenting with a period of no downtime.
In a post on the EVE Online website, CCP Explorer talked about downtime and the hassle it can be for Capsuleers, even though the time it takes to reboot Tranquility is less than 5 minutes now.
Downtime today is not like downtime was a few years ago when it was usually up to an hour, enough time for a long lunch, including dessert. These days Tranquility's auto-reboot on weekends takes approximately 4 minutes and 20-40 seconds, just enough for a quick cup of tea. But it is still an inconvenience since you must time your activities to be at a safe place at 11:00 UTC. Downtime waits for no one.
According to the post, downtime is done in order to clean up excessive memory consumption, daily database jobs that run only during downtime, as well as certain things the team can only do while the server is offline. As such, EVE Online has run for over six thousand days with at least one daily interruption.
Well, that streak has ended.
Running through to December 5th 11:00 UTC, The EVE servers are running without the normal downtime. CCP Explorer goes on to discuss the role the daily downtime plays with player log ins, specifically as it pertains to the different play sessions with the various time zones across the world. It's fascinating stuff and definitely worth a full read.
By not having downtime during this period, the team at CCP is looking to see how this affects the server, the population and whether or not the typical 11:00 UTC daily downtime is the best way moving forward. It'll definitely be interesting to see how this affects New Eden in the future.