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Average Cost of Unplanned Data Center Outages: $740,357

January 19, 2016

A new collaborative study carried out by Emerson Network and Ponemon Institute has revealed the downtime of data centers has been increasing, to an average outage cost of $740,357.

With more than 3.5 billion Internet users globally and increasing daily, as well as traffic measure in Zettabytes, networks and datacenters are dealing with incredible statistics. This has resulted in more downtimes, as operators try to effectively manage the large volume of users that continue to come online.

When the Cost of Data Center Outages study was first published in 2010, the average cost of a data center outage was $505,502, which represents a 38 percent increase in the cost of downtime since the first study. The Emerson and the Ponemon Institute study was carried out in the U.S by polling 63 data center organizations that experienced at least one outage in the past 12 months, and all of its metrics have increased compared to previous studies.

The other key two data points include the average total cost per minute of an unplanned outage, which increased from $5,617 in 2010 to $8,851 today, and the maximum downtime costs, increasing a whopping 81 percent since 2010 to $2,409,991.

The failures have been primarily attributed to UPS and batteries, which accounted for a quarter of all unplanned data center outages, followed by cybercrime, representing the fastest growing segment, increasing from 2 percent of outages in 2010 to 22 percent today.

The report said, “There is a strong undertow of change occurring in the industry and we expect this change to begin to surface in future Cost of Data Center Outages research.” These changes and challenges will include, a rise in cyberattacks, a wider adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), more smartphones and cloud services.

“The complexity of today’s data centers continues to create challenges for organizations as they architect and manage their IT infrastructure to reduce costly interruptions. Our goal with the Ponemon Institute research is to provide industry benchmarks and insight that help organizations make smart business decisions to mitigate costly failures,” said Steve Hassell, president of data center solutions for Emerson Network Power.

Being able to design and manage their IT infrastructure while at the time lowering the incidence of costly interruptions will continue to be one of the biggest challenges data center operators face. While it is not possible to protect against every scenario, having redundant systems in place will ensure the outages are kept to a minimum as operators build more facilities. 

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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