Data center downtime takes a turn for the worse in 2015

2015 wasn’t a good year for data centers when weighing the damage of downtime. The costs related to downtime climbed to $740,000 in 2015 for a single data center outage. That’s up from an average of $690,000 in 2013. And experts are blaming cybercrime as one of the leading causes of the outages, according to a report recently released by the Ponemon Institute and Emerson Network Power. Without significant inroads into keeping cyber attacks at bay, the damage could continue to climb.

Data center downtime takes a turn for the worse in 2015Based on the Ponemon report, cybercrime accounted for 22 percent of data center outages in 2015. That figure was only 2 percent in 2010, however, it had risen to 18 percent just three years later, in 2013.

More than 60 data centers were surveyed for the report, which further found that each minute of unplanned downtime is now costing companies $9,000.

Although cybercrime is causing a lot of concern, UPS failure and human error also were among the top three reasons for data center outages, with UPS failure taking the No. 1 spot — accounting for 25 percent of outages in 2015. That percentage is up from the 24 percent reported in 2013, but lower than the 29 percent reported in 2010.

Human error, on the other hand, accounted for 22 percent of outages in 2015 (the third most common reason), followed by mechanical system failure, weather, generator failure, and IT equipment failure.

You can take steps to minimize data center downtime. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Invest in more advanced systems designed to reduce the number of UPS equipment failures. Eric Hanselman, chief analyst at 451 Research, recommends devoting resources on redundancy to minimize the costs related to equipment failure. “You have to approach it with a realistic understanding of what the costs of an outage would be to your business,” he said.
  1. Expand your use of automation. It is one of the measures you can take to prevent user errors, according to Hanselman. While not foolproof, using systems that automatically follow policies and procedures can help minimize errors. “No organization out there should be manually changing anything more than a very small handful of what its infrastructure consists of,” Hanselman said. “Routine tasks, bringing up systems, and configuring and managing them, should all be automated.”
  1. Protect yourself against cyber attacks and other cybercrimes by investing in security measures. It’s also important to make sure you keep up with the most recent developments in cybersecurity, as attacks are increasingly becoming more sophisticated.

Lifeline Data Centers, which provide colocation solutions in the Midwest, is dedicated to providing clients with secure and quality data center solutions. Contact us to find out how we can meet your data center needs.

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Rich Banta

Rich Banta

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology, and Client Concierge Services. Rich has an extensive background in server and network management, large scale wide-area networks, storage, business continuity, and monitoring. Rich is a former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers. He also holds many certifications, including: CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor CRISC – Certified in Risk & Information Systems Management CDCE – Certified Data Center Expert CDCDP – Certified Data Center Design Professional
Rich Banta