What's Up With Downtime? Ponemon Institute Survey From Emerson Network Power Finds Most US Companies Unprepared for Outages

Share Article

Despite the fact that 95 percent of companies experienced an unplanned data center outage in the past two years, most identify inadequate practices and investments as factors keeping them from reducing or responding to those outages appropriately. Those were among the findings of a new Ponemon Institute survey of more than 450 U.S.-based data center professionals. Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™, sponsored the survey and today released a report on the results.

News Image
This sets up a challenge for data center management to justify to senior leadership the need to implement data center systems and best practices that increase availability and ensure the functioning of mission-critical applications.

Despite the fact that 95 percent of companies experienced an unplanned data center outage in the past two years, most identify inadequate practices and investments as factors keeping them from reducing or responding to those outages appropriately. Those were among the findings of a new Ponemon Institute survey of more than 450 U.S.-based data center professionals. Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™, sponsored the survey and today released a report on the results.

Other notable results from the report include:

  • Respondents most frequently cited uninterruptible power supply (UPS) battery failure (65 percent), exceeding UPS capacity (53 percent), accidental emergency power off (EPO)/human error (51 percent) and UPS equipment failure (49 percent) as the causes of unplanned data center outages.
  • While nearly all of the respondents experienced both primary utility power loss and unplanned data center outages, just 37 percent agree there are ample resources to bring their data center up and running if there is an unplanned outage. Only 32 percent agree they utilize all best practices in data center design and redundancy to maximize availability.
  • Fifty-nine percent of respondents say the risk of an unplanned outage has increased as a result of cost constraints inside the data center, and 57 percent believe all or most of the unplanned outages could have been prevented.
  • Respondents experienced 2.5 complete data center outages over the past two years. Partial data center outages, or those limited to certain racks, occurred 6.8 times in the same timeframe. The estimated number of device-level outages, or those limited to individual servers, was the highest at 11.3.
  • Senior-level and rank-and-file respondents are not on the same page regarding data center outages. Fifty-six percent of senior-level respondents agreed that unplanned outages do not happen frequently, compared to just 45 percent of rank-and-file respondents. Also, 60 percent of senior-level respondents feel senior management fully supports efforts to prevent and manage unplanned outages, while just 40 percent of supervisor-level employees and below agreed.

Quotes attributable to Peter Panfil, vice president and general manager, Emerson Network Power's AC Power business in North America:

  • "As computing demands and energy costs continue to rise amidst shrinking IT budgets, companies are seeking tactics - like cutting energy consumption - to cut costs inside the data center."
  • "This has led to an increased risk of unplanned downtime, with companies not fully realizing the impact these outages have on their operations."
  • "High-profile data center outages have proven that even momentary downtime can result not only in lost revenue in terms of operational time and out-of-pocket costs to repair damaged equipment, but also reputation damage that may threaten existing and future business opportunities."

Quotes attributable to Larry Ponemon, Ph.D., chairman and founder, the Ponemon Institute:

  • "When you consider that downtime can potentially cost data centers thousands of dollars per minute, our survey shows a serious disconnect between senior-level employees and those in the data center trenches."
  • "This sets up a challenge for data center management to justify to senior leadership the need to implement data center systems and best practices that increase availability and ensure the functioning of mission-critical applications."
  • "It's imperative that these two groups be on the same page in terms of the severity of the problem and potential solutions."

Related Links:
National Survey on Data Center Outages
Video: Efficiency Without Compromise
White paper: The Four Trends Driving the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Design and Management

About Emerson Network Power
Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson, is the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™ from grid to chip for telecommunication networks, data centers, health care and industrial facilities. Emerson Network Power provides innovative solutions and expertise in areas including AC and DC power and precision cooling systems, embedded computing and power, integrated racks and enclosures, power switching and controls, infrastructure management, and connectivity. All solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services at http://www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

About Emerson
Emerson, based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2009 were $20.9 billion. For more information, visit http://www.Emerson.com.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Vince McMorrow
Visit website