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Downtime Is Still Here and Common


Downtime Is Still Here and Common


Recently the Ponemon Institute released in their report on the extent and impact of downtime '2013 Study on Data Center Outages.' The report concludes that unplanned data center outages still present a difficult and costly challenge for organizations. 

According to the report "Data center outages are so dreaded that 84 percent of the respondents in the study stated that they would rather walk barefoot over hot coals than have their data center go down." 

The report underscores how as business demands and data center complexity continue to rise, unplanned data center outages threaten organizations by disrupting business, impacting revenue and damaging reputations. 

With the pace of change growing, data centers becoming more complex, and organization are turning to more silo-based environment management, so here are some of the highlights from this report.

Do not have practices and investments in place to reduce or respond to outages.

71% of respondents agree their company's business model is dependent upon the data center to generate revenue and conduct ecommerce. 

At least one unplanned outage in the past 24 months.

Respondents averaged 2 complete data center shutdowns over the two-year period, with an average duration of 91 minutes. The lengthy duration of the data center outages correlates to lack of resources and planning. 

Organizations are not proactive in addressing the risk of unplanned data center outages.

Other indications that organizations are not proactive in addressing the risk of unplanned data center outages include the finding that only 36% believe they utilize all best practices in data center design and redundancy to maximize availability. 

Accidental EPO/human error is frequent root cause of outages.

Eighty-three percent of respondents know the root cause of the unplanned outage. The most frequently cited root causes of data center outages are: UPS battery failure (55 percent), UPS capacity exceeded (46 percent) and accidental EPO/human error (48%).  

Sacrificing availability for efficiency?

Many respondents continue to have concerns about their organization's ability to withstand unplanned outages or ensure a high level of availability. Despite the perception that their organization is more focused on maintaining availability/uptime than 12 months ago, 68 percent of respondents believe their organization has made sacrifices to availability to improve efficiency or reduce costs inside their data center.  

More awareness of the criticality of downtime.

Recent high-profile outages also caught the attention of these business leaders. From the Superbowl to Twitter's Fail Whale to outages of Amazon and Google, major disruptions to IT services around the globe helped bring downtime to the fore and reinforce not only the criticality of availability, but the potential financial cost of downtime.  

The business needs IT.

As 71% of this year's survey respondents affirmed, business models are also now more dependent on the data center to generate revenue and conduct ecommerce. Not only are businesses more reliant on the data center— their customers and end-users are too.

Your Turn
How are you keeping your data center at high availability?

About the Author
Martin Perlin