Data centres can fail. Industry experts believe that rising costs of unplanned data centre outages is expected to further constrain already tight budgets, increasing the need for highly effective risk mitigation strategies and disaster recovery plans. Latest research from Emerson from Ponemon Institute shows that cost of downtime continues to rise, and the average outage cost increased by 38 percent in five years.
The purpose of the study was to get an insight into the causes behind data centre outages at more than 60 facilities over the past year, and the cost of data centre outages. The study revealed that the cost of a data centre outage is almost $9000 per minute. However, many industry experts believe that the estimate is too low.
The Ponemon study involved confidential interviews with 63 data centre operators with a view to update two similar studies that were conducted in 2010 and 2013. The previous study has calculated the cost of data centre outage to be $8,851 per minute. The latest study also revealed that the total cost of a data centre outage has increased by 38 percent since 2010, and stands at $740,357.
According to Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, for many big brands with a solid reputation, customers may accept single outage, but they tend to be far less forgiving after that. He also said that the customer expectation may also vary depending on the brand’s reputation in the market. In other words, clients of smaller companies and lesser known brands would be less forgiving as far as data centre outages are concerned.
The reasons for data centre outages
The Ponemon study also analyzed the top reasons for unplanned data centre outages. The number one cause was Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) failure, including batteries and UPS. It accounted for the cause of 25 percent of the data centre outages. The study also revealed that the fastest growing cause of outages is cybercrime. In 2010, it was responsible for 2 percent of the outages, but in the latest study, it has grown to a whopping 22 percent.
Human error was the cause of 22 percent of outages, however, human error is indirectly involved in some other causes as well, which includes mechanical system failure, water, weather related incidents, IT equipment failure and generator failure.
The study also pointed out that many causes of outages were management related, which includes, inadequate staffing, training, processes and procedures.
Some industry experts are of the view that human error and not UPS error is the leading cause of data centre outages. Many opine that human error could be a cause of 80-90 percent of the outages.
By Staff Writer