Unplanned downtime in data centers

Unplanned downtime. The phrase alone is enough to send shivers down the spine of the most experienced data center operator. You also don’t have to look far to see high profile examples of companies that have felt the sharp pains of downtime incidents recently – from Delta Airlines to Wells Fargo. 

Statistics often point to the actual cost of downtime, which is estimated to run at $5,600 to $9,00 per minute (Garntner) or more than $100,000 per hour, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are other factors to consider, such as the loss of customer confidence and the impact on stock prices of publicly-traded companies. In the case of Wells Fargo, a multi-day outage last winter caused the stock to drop by nearly one percent. Added up, that’s a heck of a lot more than $100,000 per hour. In fact, the Ponemon Institute calculated Delta’s losses at a whopping $150 million. 

To make things worse, unplanned downtime is on the rise, says Data Center Knowledge, with 31 percent of survey respondents saying they experienced “outages” in the past year, a sharp rise from 25 percent the year previous. 

But there’s good news: much of this downtime is preventable. Ponemon points to UPS system failure, cybercrime, accidents, human error, CRAC failures, generator failures, and IT equipment and weather as the top causes of unplanned downtime. 

Some basic tips for preventing outages: 

  • Review your contingency plan. Know exactly what you’ll do – down to the second – if unplanned downtime happens. 
  • Only let qualified individuals into your data center. 
  • Label everything.
  • Take a close look at your Emergency Power Off, aka the “big red button.” How easy is it to access and press? If it’s too exposed, consider adding a hinged cover around it. 
  • Regularly train employees on EPO procedures. 
  • Audit your power. Does its rating match up with the density of your IT equipment? 
  • Install enough redundant generator power to avoid a single point of failure. Test these regularly. 
  • When designing or expanding your data center, work with a team that utilizes design best practices. 
  • Automate everything from routine tasks to configuring and managing systems. 
  • Make security a priority

Stop Outages Now

To learn more about how to prevent unplanned downtime in your data center, download our guide below, “Prevent the 5 Common Causes of Unplanned Data Center Downtime”.

When you’re ready to put a stop to sleepless nights caused by the threat of an outage, contact Instor for custom IT infrastructure solutions today. 

Download our PDF guide to avoiding the top 5 causes of downtime!

Download the PDF

Download our PDF guide to avoiding the top 5 causes of downtime!

Download the PDF