Anyone in the data center industry understands the importance of uptime. Recent statistics show that it costs us, on average, $7,900 each minute that we experience a data center outage — an essential reason to minimize the incidents that cause downtime.
While there’s already pressure for IT professionals and data center managers to maintain a high rate of uptime, the demand will be even more intense in the 2020s. The expectation will be for 100 percent uptime, as internet connectivity — especially with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) — will become essential for everyday living, experts projected.
"For data centers, the idea that you need to be perfect will not be far from the truth," futurist Michael Rogers said during a Dell World presentation. “Every decision you make needs to head to that point on the horizon.”
In the future, losing an internet connection will be as disruptive as losing electrical power, he added. “We will be asking data centers to provide the type of reliability power plants provide, only moreso,” he said.
Unfortunately, data center operations of all sizes are not there yet. According to an AFCOM survey, 81 percent of respondents reported a data center failure in the previous five years. About 20 percent had experienced five or more failures.
Assessing data center uptime
Among the initiatives data centers are exploring to increase uptime include infrastructures that receive higher ratings from the Uptime Institute for reliability; predictive support which anticipates failures; and the minimizing of human errors, which have been attributed to as much as 75 percent of data center outages.
The Uptime Institute, for example, certifies data centers based on four tiers — Tier I through Tier IV. Under the classification system, the uptime rating is determined by infrastructure, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), power and cooling equipment, engine generators, and other components that impact uptime. Even a slight difference in the uptime rating — from 99 percent to 99.9 percent could translate into 9 hours a year, which could result in significant losses.
Also, training employees to avoid the type of errors that can contribute downtime also should be a top priority.
As you explore ways to boost uptime while expanding capacity, talk to us at Lifeline Data Center. We can give you insights on how to reach your goals. Contact us for more information.