@21:28: "Several years ago, HP pushed out the concept of five nines and "the industry" embraced it. "
It predates HP by a long way, the telecomms business has been using the term for many years. It is just recently that manufacturers of general-pupose COTS computer equipment (HP, Sun, IBM, etc.) have reached levels of reliability (software and hardware) such that they can start to offer mainstream equipment for use in 5-nines systems.
The computer industry in general always thinks that it's on the bleeding edge, but when it comes to reliability engineering it has a long way to go to catch up with the phone carriers, as will become increasingly evident as more people change from conventional phone service to VoIP. There's a reason that VoIP is cheaper than POTS, and you get what you pay for...