The Impact of Data Center Downtime

According to a 2016 Ponemon study, $9,000 per minute is the average cost of an unplanned outage, while the maximum downtime costs is $2,409,991. But an outage can impact more than your budget. It can damage data, critical equipment, productivity, and your brand reputation.

So what can you do to be better prepared? Consider these 6 key strategies to improve availability and reduce downtime risks.

What Causes Data Center Downtime?

Data centers require a high-level of reliability. And while there are a variety of factors that can pose a threat to availability, there are a few common denominators uncovered in the Ponemon study.

  • UPS System Failure – accounted for 25% of all events
  • Human Error and Cyber Attacks – accounted for 22% of all events
  • Others include: Water, heat or CRAC failure, and weather-related incidents

Unfortunately, internal and external threats will always pose challenges. But, a proactive strategy will give you a competitive edge and help mitigate those risks.

How Can Downtime Be Prevented in Your Facility?

Taking time to assess your IT infrastructure and plan for the future will help you avoid some of the most common causes of downtime.

  • Monitor Batteries: A single bad cell in a string can put your entire backup power system at risk. Increase your battery availability by implementing a battery maintenance program that identifies system anomalies and trends end-of-life to help you make informed decisions.

Consider monitoring software like Vertiv’s Data Center Planner to help identify battery problems before they impact operations. You can rely on up-to-date, comprehensive data about devices and equipment locations, current capacities and power usage to confidently implement installs and changes without compromising availability.

  • Consider Lithium-Ion Batteries: Lithium-ion batteries designed specifically for UPS applications are smaller, lighter and last longer than traditional valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries while providing the power needed for critical loads.Lithium-ion batteries require less maintenance and service, and have a much smaller footprint – allowing floor space to be dedicated to IT equipment. Some lithium ion batteries have also been found to have reduced cooling requirements, resulting in lower operating costs.
  • Thermal Controls with Cooling Units: An important part of uptime availability is ensuring you have the right cooling components to match load demand. Use an integrated approach to optimize your infrastructure with Vertiv’s Liebert iCOM-S Thermal System Supervisory Control. It provides quick access to data and system diagnostics while allowing you to manage the entire cooling system from one place.
  • Preventative Maintenance: Keeping the data center clean and performing preventative maintenance is essential to protecting your infrastructure. Assessing environmental threats is another important part of the maintenance plan.For example, moisture and humidity may lead to corrosion of components and power failure. Routinely identifying needed repairs and upgrades will help increase the life and efficiency of your infrastructure.
  • Proper Training: With human error being a leading cause of downtime, ongoing communication and training is essential. Implement and update policies and procedures regularly so everyone is aware of common threats and how to respond to system failures. Practicing the process helps ensure the team can quickly identify and address issues.
  • Regular Assessments: For maximum availability and increased productivity, consider our performance optimization and data center assessment services. We offer an array of assessments and services that can help identify vulnerabilities. We’ll help you create a plan tailored to your infrastructure and budget.

Partner with Us

As your local Vertiv business partner, we’re committed to helping you achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more about our data center solutions to avoid downtime and increase availability.