Each data center outage costs money. It is increasingly difficult to maintain uptime with the accelerated pace of digital activities.
It is no longer feasible for humans to address a number of problems that have emerged owing to increased complexity, given the rising strain on data centers.
IT operations teams are expected to maintain complex IT infrastructure now more than ever. This makes it increasingly challenging for IT teams to handle today’s dynamic, constantly changing IT environments, especially when combined with expanding data quantities.
Even though technology has advanced greatly, downtime still occurs frequently and is getting worse. One in five organizations reports experiencing a “serious” or “severe” outage in the last three years, according to The Uptime Institute 2022 Annual Outage Analysis report. This finding indicates a slight increase in the prevalence of major outages.
Reasons for data center outages
There are numerous causes of outages. Many factors might cause a data center to go down, including hardware or software issues, power outages, cyberattacks, and human error.
We examine the main causes of service interruptions and offer best practices to prevent them:
Regardless of the severity, networking-related issues have been the leading cause of all IT service downtime occurrences over the past three years, according to Uptime’s 2022 Data Center Resiliency Survey.
Due to the complexity brought on by the growing usage of cloud technologies, software-defined architectures, and hybrid, distributed architectures, outages attributable to software, network, and system difficulties are rising.
Of the 43% of serious outages, 43% are caused by power outages (causing downtime and financial loss). According to the Uptime report, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) failures are the leading cause of power events.
The same Uptime survey indicates that the vast majority of failures caused by human error involve disregarded or insufficient procedures.
Over the past three years, nearly 40% of firms have experienced a significant outage brought on by human mistake.
85% of these instances result from mistakes made by staff members or deficiencies in the processes and procedures themselves.
Cyber attacks like ransomware and DDoS can also be significant factors in downtime. Service outages can result from data breaches brought on by ransomware and DDoS attacks, widespread in today’s world.
Ransomware has gained more prominence on corporate boards due to its increasing sophistication and prevalence.
According to an NTT Security Holdings analysis, there has been a 240% increase in ransomware incident response engagements over the previous 24 months, affecting business continuity.
Optimal procedures for avoiding outages
Data centers need to be resilient, and every business should work to prevent outages by taking several steps.
First and foremost, businesses must regularly assess their resilience across all significant elements of the data center ecosystem (power, cooling, connectivity, and service providers).
The temperature of the data center and equipment failure are directly correlated. Thus, keeping an eye on the temperature becomes crucial to avoid equipment failure or shutdown.
Downtime can also result from a failure of UPS systems. Consistent remote monitoring of UPS systems helps to provide real-time alerts and warn administrators of potential problems before they can create downtime because most UPS systems are not properly evaluated until a power source fails.
Software errors can also cause downtimes and outages. Thus, it is essential to apply patches and update software periodically.
AI can be used to execute scans for vulnerabilities and apply software upgrades or patches when necessary to ensure frequent patching of updates.
Additionally, AI can proactively discover problems with data center hardware, application performance, or security.