Use these tips to stop a data center power system failure

Key Takeaways:

  • If a data center stops working as expected, an organization, its employees, and its customers may experience the ramifications
  • A data center system power failure can cost an organization thousands or millions of dollars
  • Human error, cyberattacks, and equipment failures are among the top reasons why data center power system outages occur
  • Ongoing monitoring and maintenance of data center operations can help an organization avoid issues that contribute to failures

Your data center is the lifeblood of your business. It needs to run consistently; otherwise, a system failure can have long-lasting ramifications on your company, its employees, and its customers. 

How much does a data center power system outage cost?

To understand the cost of a data center power system outage, research indicates the average cost of downtime ranges from $5,600 to $9,000 per minute. Financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing organizations can experience higher downtime costs than others. In addition, the cost of downtime tends to be higher for enterprises than small and mid-sized organizations.

Factors impacting the cost of a data center power system failure

The full cost of an outage extends beyond lost revenue. Downtime can disrupt a business, making it difficult for employees to engage with one another or customers. It can also damage brand reputation because the resulting service delays can impact the customer experience.

Let’s not forget about lost internal productivity caused by downtime, either. If a data center outage prevents employees from accessing operating systems, they may struggle to complete everyday tasks. The result: these workers may fall behind on work and miss out on opportunities to help their organization achieve its productivity goals.

An outage can result in service-level agreement (SLA) penalties and government fines. Failure to comply with SLAs and government regulations can cost an organization thousands or millions of dollars. In the worst-case scenario, the penalties associated with compliance violations can force an organization to shut down.

The causes of data center power system outages

To prevent a system outage, you need to understand why they happen in the first place. That way, you can make a plan that accounts for common reasons why these outages occur. Here are five of the most common reasons why data center power system failures occur, along with tips to prevent these problems from arising.

1. Human error

Your IT team works diligently to keep your data center running at peak levels. Yet, despite its best efforts, mistakes can happen along the way.

Even a single error can cause a data center power outage. But, with proper training, you can ensure your IT team has proper checks and balances in place across your data center operations. The result: the team is well-equipped to guard against potential problems that can lead to system outages.

It can be beneficial to use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate various aspects of data center management, too. AI-based programs can be used to automate tasks that can free up your IT team to work on high-value tasks. At the same time, these programs can help you identify and resolve problems that can lead to outages in their early stages. 

2. Cyberattacks

Cybercriminals attack data centers with malware, ransomware, and other malicious software. If successful, these criminals can gain control of your data center.

There is no telling when a cybercriminal will launch a data center attack, and you need to prepare accordingly. To do so, you can use advanced data analytics to monitor your data center operations. If any suspicious traffic patterns or network activities are identified, you can respond to them right away.

Restrict physical and virtual access to your data center as well. This limits the chance that unauthorized users can access your system.

You should also leverage a wide range of security tools. Ensure all your data center endpoints are protected against cyberattacks. Furthermore, keep your security tools up to date, so you can guard against current and emerging cyber threats.

3. Equipment Failure

Every piece of data center equipment has a life span. Once equipment reaches its end of life, it will fail. At this point, the equipment failure can cause a data center outage. 

Keep a close eye on all data center equipment. Perform regular equipment maintenance and conduct ongoing equipment assessments. This ensures your equipment will run consistently for as long as possible. Plus, you can identify equipment problems and repair or replace defective equipment as needed. 

Also, data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools can make a world of difference in preventing equipment failure. These tools let you monitor the health of your data center equipment 24/7. If any equipment issues arise, you’ll be notified about them immediately. 

4. Software failure

Software failures are less common than equipment failures. Regardless, software failures are serious since they can create security gaps that allow cybercriminals to penetrate your data center.

Continuous monitoring and maintenance are must-haves. They can help you track your data center software and ensure it’s always running as expected.

Automated data center software testing can also be beneficial. Testing lets you simulate your data center’s readiness to respond to cyberattacks and other dangers if a software failure occurs.

5. Natural disaster

A natural disaster can cause a data center outage, along with data loss. Thus, you need a backup and recovery plan to determine how your organization will remain operational following a natural disaster.

Make a backup and recovery plan that accounts for natural disasters. The plan should define how IT team members can contact one another throughout a natural disaster. It should also describe steps your organization can use to stop a data center outage. Or, if an outage occurs during a natural disaster, your organization should have steps in place to restore its data center as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You should store critical data off-site as well. This ensures critical data remains safe, even if your data center is damaged or destroyed during a natural disaster.

The bottom line on how to prevent data center system failure

Data center system failures cannot always be prevented. However, these tips can help you prepare for a wide range of issues that can cause these failures.

If you need extra help to guard against data center system failures, UES is happy to provide assistance. We can help you build, relocate, or renovate your data center and find ways to prevent downtime now and in the future. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.