Data center outages – and how to prevent them

Ponemon Institute has just released the results of the latest Cost of Data Center Outages study. Previously published in 2010 and 2013, the purpose of this third study is to continue to analyze the cost behavior of unplanned data center outages.

According to the new study, the average cost of a data center outage has steadily increased from US$505,502 in 2010 to US$740,357 today (or a 38 percent net change). Other key findings of the study include:

  • Downtime costs for the most data center-dependent businesses are rising faster than average.
  • Maximum downtime costs increased 32 percent since 2013 and 81 percent since 2010.
  • Maximum downtime costs for 2016 are $2,409,991.
  • Cybercrime represents the fastest growing cause of data center outages, rising from 2 percent of outages in 2010 to 18 percent in 2013 to 22 percent in the latest study.
  • UPS system failure continues to be the number one cause of unplanned data center outages, accounting for one-quarter of all such events.

But what’s behind these numbers? Do they mean really that the biggest threat to your UPS system is faulty equipment?

Not necessarily. Not only cyber crimes are ultimately caused by humans. This also applies to UPS system failures.

“The biggest threat to UPS system error is from the operator, whose lack of training, misinformation, budget constraints could be underlying causes”, Kathleen Hickey writes on GCN. Other threats are battery failure or fans, capacitors, and other smaller components failing.

To prevent this, it needs well-trained staff and a routine maintenance plan, that will help keeping your UPS system in optimal condition and avoids the costly disaster of a UPS system failure.

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