Data Center Downtime is an Expensive Proposition

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$5,600 a minute. That’s a lot of money any way you slice it…and according to a new white paper, it’s the cost of data center downtime.

The report, from Emerson Network Power, incorporates findings from the Ponemon Institute. It surveyed more than 400 enterprise data center and IT professionals at 41 data centers. The survey found that based on an average reported incident length of 90 minutes, the average cost of a single downtime event was more than half a million dollars. The report quantifies the numbers, saying, “These costs are based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, data loss or corruption, productivity losses, equipment damage, root-cause detection and recovery actions, legal and regulatory repercussions, revenue loss and long-term repercussions on reputation and trust among key stakeholders.” Ponemon researchers discovered that, taken together, the total cost to the 41 companies surveyed from their most recent data center outages totaled more than $20.7 million.

These are numbers that clearly spell out the value of outsourcing your data center operations to a company that focuses on delivering uptime, like Windstream Hosted Solutions. It clearly reminds us of the huge responsibility we have to our clients, and this is one of the primary reasons that we pay more to build in higher levels of electrical redundancy than most of our competitors. Not all data centers are built equally, and the easiest way to determine the quality and cost of the build is by focusing on the redundancy of a provider’s electrical distribution. Most will build to a system _+ 1 (N+1) configuration where with our high redundancy data centers we build to a “system + system” electrical design, or more commonly known as N+2.

For instance, when we announced the recent expansion to our Raleigh data center, we stressed that the upgrades included features designed to ensure that we keep the center up and running, including:

  • Full electrical system + system (N+2) redundancy, which provides for continuity in case of a catastrophic system failure
  • 36” raised floors, enabling superior airflow, and allowing for the proper cooling of higher density cabinets
  • Robust per-rack power density of 5.5kW per cabinet, enabling Windstream Hosted Solutions customers to power more equipment in a single rack, which is especially important in cloud and virtualization environments
  • State-of-the-art, high-efficiency chill-water based cooling systems

The Emerson/Ponemon report concludes by saying, “Left unattended, an inadequate data center infrastructure will contribute to recurring downtime events and result in significant financial losses as well as permanent damage to a company’s reputation and customer goodwill.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we spend more money to built a more robust infrastrucuture and maintain a laser focus on ensuring that our data centers are always on, and able to handle our clients’ requirements.