Computer Server Cost

When it comes to mission-critical applications, and the performance of the data center, companies put a lot of cash to see results, however, the investment doesn't always deliver the hoped-for outcome.

Confronting System Downtime

Despite advances in infrastructure robustness, many IT organizations still face database, hardware, and software downtime, lasting short periods to shutting down the business for days.

Downtime Expected

Yet, the world of IT failure is strange. Despite mounting statistics that touch nearly every major enterprise software vendor and customer, from ERP to CRM and more, just bringing up the topic of outages still terrifies those in the industry. Against this backdrop, IT failures have become an accepted, virtually expected, aspect of enterprise life.

Downtime Revisited

So, while IT professionals confront downtime and try to get on top of it, the business organization suffers the pain of downtime. About a year ago, we looked at the many ways that IT downtime can hurt businesses (Cost and Scope of Unplanned Outages), from lost revenue to reputation damage to lost productivity. Now we want to revisit the issue, and see how organizations of any size should address and assess threats to their IT operations, including systems, applications, and data, and look at solid numbers around the potential costs that downtime and outages pose to the business.

System Outages: Measuring Big Brand Failures

Where does one start to measure those recent big brand outages (10 Devastating Outages and Failures Of Major Brands In 2011) such as those that recently hit Bank of America Online Banking, Amazon Web Services, Intuit or Blackberry?

Downtime costs also vary significantly within industries, especially due to the different effects of downtime. Business size is the most obvious factor, but it is not the only one. Setting a measure means establishing the nature and implications of the failure.

A failure of a critical application can lead to a few types of losses:

  • Loss of the application service – the impact of downtime varies with the application and the business.
  • Loss of data – the potential loss of data due to a system outage can have significant legal and financial impact.
    (The Impact of Network and or Server Downtime)

Now everyone would agree that today's data centers should never go down, and applications should be available around the clock, and internal as well as external end-users worldwide need to be able to rely on data center availability for critical data and application availability anytime. Regardless, that doesn't mean that inside the data center, nothing ever really stops.

System Outage Nightmare Example: Virgin Blue's Reservation Desk

Customers of Virgin Blue were really upset when they couldn't board their scheduled flights, during an outage that lasted up to 11 long days. The outage fired up a lot of negative press, as well costing the company millions in profits.

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