What It Costs You When Your Data Center Goes Down

Believe it or not the cost to a business of the average data center outage is going up. At $7,900 a minute, up 41% from 2010’s cost of $5,600 per minute, there are very few industries that can afford to not pay attention to data center uptime. For Data Center Cost Shockmany of you the use of technology dependent on 24/7/365 operation of either a cloud or a data center is a matter of business survival. If your tech is down, you and your business are losing money.

For many in IT the rising cost of downtime is a known concern. Their most difficult proposition? Convincing their own management that they should be worried.

When surveyed, CEOs and other C-Level execs often say that their data centers are fine and that downtime preventative measures are an “extra expense”, easy to dismiss.

Yet a study from the Ponemon Institute shows that the cost of data center downtime is now far too expensive for these execs to dismiss so easily anymore.

If nearly eight grand a minute isn’t enough to turn the C-Suite’s hair white, then they need to consider these other findings:

  • The average reported facility (power) incident length was 86 minutes, resulting in average cost per incident of approximately $690,200. (In 2010 it was 97 minutes at approximately $505,500.)
  • For a total data center IT outage, which had an average recovery time of 119 minutes, average costs were approximately $901,500. (In 2010, it was 134 minutes at about $680,700.)
  • For a partial data center outage, which averaged 56 minutes in length, average costs were approximately $350,400. (In 2010, it was 59 minutes at approximately $258,000.)
  • The majority of survey respondents reported having experienced an unplanned data center outage in the past 24 months (91 percent). This is a slight decrease from the 95 percent of respondents in the 2010 study who reported unplanned outages.

The rise in DC downtime cost is because of the total integration of business operations into IT or data driven systems. There has also been a huge shift in where prospects and customers do business, moving from real-world interactions to cyber ones. For more companies than ever, if your website goes down or your service is off-line you’re losing both money and customers.

So how do you address the problem?

Most of the old solutions are just not enough anymore. You can go to the cloud but even there you are still dependent on data center uptime, except now your cloud provider controls whether that is cared for or not.

The solution involves power redundancies that only a Tier III Enhanced (Tier III+) data center or higher can address. Your business can’t afford a loss of $8k a minute. The report indicates that 48% of the outages were unplanned, and caused by human error. Only a Tier III+ can remove that threat. The smaller the data center the more they experience outages and the power interruptions lasts. Tier III+ facilities have a much larger footprint.

Most data center outages occur due to some form of power component failure like UPS, generators or batteries. Often these are secondary failures that occur when attempting to have these backup systems kick-in during a primary power source interruption. Only a Tier III+ or Tier IV facility is inherently capable of surviving such an occurrence.

Read the study. Assess your organization’s risk if your data center goes down and translate that into dollars for making your case for improvements. After such an assessment I think you will see why a move to a Tier III Enhanced, future proof data center may be the best way to prevent the high cost of DC downtime.