Under Pressure in the Pursuit of Zero Downtime | SUSE Communities

Under Pressure in the Pursuit of Zero Downtime



The business of data center infrastructure can often feel like carpentry or home repair, as pieces need to be monitored, replaced and modernized. So if maintaining a data center is like fixing a house, you need to choose a reliable foundation, especially for your mission-critical workloads.

Here’s where the analogy breaks down: unlike home repair, the business of data center infrastructure becomes more important each year. Forrester Research suggests that nearly 75 percent of all applications are deemed mission or business critical. The increasing number of critical systems expands potential points of failure that can seriously affect customers and employees, leading to lost revenue and higher costs. Data center managers are constantly burdened with headaches as they are under pressure to ensure continuous uptime. They must meet customer demands as well as keep costs competitive.

For perspective on just how big unplanned IT outages can be when they occur, according to Dun & Bradstreet, 59 percent of Fortune 500 companies experience a minimum of 1.6 hours of downtime per week. Relate this situation to a Fortune 500 company that has 10,000 employees receiving an average of $56 per hour, including benefits; the labor component of downtime costs for such a company would be $896,000 weekly, which translates into more than $46 million per year.

Downtime can result from both internal and external forces. Take the New York Times website malfunction in 2013, when the site went dark owing to a “server issue” caused by an “outage occurring within seconds of a scheduled maintenance update,” or Google’s brief (five minutes) downtime, which reportedly cost the company $500,000 and reduced global Internet traffic by a whopping 40 percent during that short time frame. More recently, this past year, Hess cut its production forecast after unplanned downtime occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. The company revealed it is now expecting net production of between 315,000 and 325,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from its previous forecast of between 330,000 and 350,000.

You can read the rest of the article at the Datacenter Journal.


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