Cost estimates for data center downtime vary widely from one source to another.
According to ABB Group – Automation and Power Technologies, failures can come in many forms and can be attributed to any of a number of causes such as component quality issues, power supply disturbances or human intervention. Even turning systems off for routine maintenance can precipitate a potentially costly incident.
An Aberdeen Research study conducted in 2012 highlighted that potential cost by reporting average cost per incident at $161,000, up nearly two thirds from $97,850 in 2010. However, a report released by the Ponemon Institute in December of 2013 showed a much higher average figure of $626,418. The results of that study also ranged from a minimum of $74,223 to a whopping $1.7 million at the high end.
Although cost estimates vary from one source to another, they all show one thing: The takeaway for data center owners and operators is that downtime is expensive and is getting more so.
That puts an ever-higher premium on the reliability of every piece of equipment in the facility from the UPS to the cooling system to the servers themselves. Even the most innocuous cable could cost the data center tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars if it fails.
As technology has advanced, especially with regard to monitoring and control capabilities, data center operators have had an opportunity to reduce the risk of failures and significantly improve reliability of their facilities.