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Downtime at the data center… what’s it really going to cost you?

Data center downtime is always going to cost an enterprise money. But how much exactly? Can you calculate the true cost of downtime? Yes, you can to some extent.

Here is a formula used by some data centers to calculate downtime:

Downtime cost = Lost Revenue + Lost Productivity + Cost of intangibles + Cost to recover

If you’re wondering how much that would mean in actuals, well, a company with, say, $5 million annual revenue could lose around $14,000 per day of revenue in downtime. And it could be simply because of a failed air conditioning system that went unnoticed, resulting in the servers overheating until shutting down.

According to a 2020 survey on global enterprise server hourly downtime cost 2019, 25 percent of respondents worldwide reported the average hourly downtime cost of their servers as being between 301,000 and 400,000 U.S. dollars.

So, that’s the cost in terms of dollars, but what else does downtime cost a company?

1. Lost revenues

If IT assets are down, it brings businesses to a grinding halt. Even if primary revenue channels are not dependent on a data center, peripheral channels such as accounting and communication channels most likely are and will be unable to operate.

2. Lost productivity

Downtime leaves employees unable to work. And that means you’re going to have hours or worse days of a non-functioning data center and non-functioning employees. That’s a disaster. This may lead to additional costs as well as employees will have to later work overtime to compensate for the time lost and would have to be paid for it.

3. Recovery costs

Recovering from downtime and resuming normal business operations is going to lead to intangible costs (damage to a business’s reputation) and tangible costs (to repair or replace malfunctioning hardware).

So, how do you minimize downtime costs?

1. Regular maintenance

Regular equipment maintenance and testing are necessary as something as simple as the lights going out can affect downtime and troubleshooting time. Make sure the network management is up-to-date and there is a backup system for all databases. Larger companies know the importance of data and network infrastructure and the risks and losses when these systems go down, which is why they invest in conducting regular assessments and audits of their systems. Small businesses can be the hardest hit by downtime because they often do not have the processes in place to prevent losses from downtime.

2. Invest in the right hardware

Whatever hardware and accessories you are procuring for a data center need to be of the highest quality. Take the uninterruptable power supply (UPS) hardware for instance. If the primary power source becomes unavailable, the transfer of power to the connected generator must be seamless. The right UPS appliances help to protect equipment from voltage spikes and provide short-term power in an outage. A power distribution unit (PDU) receives power from a UPS and then distributes it to IT systems. If these systems are not up to scratch and of the highest quality, downtime is a possibility.

Hardy Racks manufactures top-of-the-line accessories for data centers. Our experts can guide you on what hardware to procure to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of a data center. Contact us to explore more.


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