Unplanned Data Centre Outages Cost Companies Over £6,000 Per Minute

A recent study from Emerson and Ponemon Institute finds the price of data centre downtime has risen 38 percent in five years.

The cost of unplanned data centre outages

Emerson and the Ponemon Institute polled 63 data centre organisations in the U.S. that had experienced an outage in the past 12 months to estimate the full costs associated with unplanned outages at data centres.

The report suggests that the average total cost of an unplanned outage has increased from $5,617 per minute in 2010 to $8,851 per minute in 2015 (approximately £6,000). The average total cost of a data centre outage has risen from $505,502 in 2010 to $740,357 in the latest study.

What causes unplanned data centre outages?

Ponemon Institute used an activity-based costing model to make these estimates, capturing information about both direct and indirect costs including:
– Damage to mission-critical data
– Impact of downtime on organizational productivity
– Damages to equipment and other assets
– Cost to detect and remediate systems and core business processes
– Legal and regulatory impact, including litigation defence cost
– Lost confidence and trust among key stakeholders
– Diminishment of marketplace brand and reputation

Where The Problem Lies

UPS system failure, including UPS and batteries, is the number one cause of unplanned data centre outages, accounting for one-quarter of all such events.

Cybercrime (such as DDoS attack) represents the fastest growing cause of data centre outages, rising from 2 percent of outages in 2010 to 22 percent for those sampled in the latest cost of downtime study.
Other faults can arise from human error, problems with water heat, CRAC units, or generator failure.

How to prevent outages

  1. Monitor UPS Batteries – batteries are the weak link in the UPS system. Use remote battery monitoring to identify battery problems before they impact your operations.
  2. Use Intelligent Thermal controls with Cooling Units – these controls improve protection by monitoring component data points, providing unit-to-unit communications, matching airflow and capacity to room loads, automating self-healing routines, providing faster restarts and preventing hot/cold air mixing during low load conditions.
  3. Perform Preventive Maintenance – an increase in the number of annual preventive maintenance visits correlates directly with an increase in UPS mean time between failures (MTBF). Going from zero to one preventive maintenance visit a year creates a 10x improvement; going from zero to two visits a year creates a 23x improvement.
  4. Strengthen Policies and Training – make sure the EPO button is clearly labelled and shielded from accidental shut off. Document and communicate policies and conduct regular training.
  5. Standardize and Automate Security Management – use console servers to provide secure, remote access to servers to simplify patch management and provide early detection of attacks.

Alternatively You Can Always Outsource To A Data Centre Provider

With more than 35 years of expertise, Telehouse’s high quality data centres are fully redundant. Furthermore as the only UK data centre campus with its own privately owned 132KV Grid Substation clients are provided with a secure and reliable power system to ensure they never go offline.

With uptime SLA’s of 99.999% more than 3,000 companies from start-ups to the largest multinationals choose Telehouse to protect their mission-critical ICT infrastructure and meet the challenges and opportunities facing their business, both today and in the future.