Recent research has shown the price of unplanned data center downtime is rising: It stood at $7,908 in 2013, up 41% from its 2010 figure. There are many different root causes of unplanned downtime, and it pays to be prepared for multiple types of risk.
Here’s how you can reduce your downtime risk:
1) Pair Redundant Systems and Appropriate Backups
IT equipment failure is ranked the most costly cause of unplanned downtime – but it’s also the one enterprises have most control over. RAID data redundancy technology has been in use for decades and is still a strong, cost-effective option. As the cloud matures, offsite backup of critical data is easier than ever, but should be supported with a continuity strategy to restore services fast.
2) Have a Comprehensive Cyber Security Plan in Place
In 2013, cybercrime was ranked #2 most costly source of downtime. Since then, hacker activity has grown explosively: The average U.S. firm absorbs $15 million in costs from cybercrime annually, double the average for the rest of the globe. A good IT security plan has many aspects, but 24-hour endpoint monitoring and policy enforcement is crucial in the new BYOD world.
3) Test, Upgrade, and Replace UPS Systems Regularly
When the lights go out, a UPS can’t keep your hardware running indefinitely: It should only be relied on for the time-sensitive operations you have planned in the event of a crisis! A UPS can run low on charge or have mechanical issues during its long periods of downtime, so make sure systems are regularly checked to ensure they’ll function as you expect when disaster looms.
4) Minimize Odds of Water Incursion
Water incursion can take place for a wide variety of reasons, some of which have to do with your building’s plumbing system or even its outer envelope. That being the case, the best time to keep your equipment high and dry is in the earliest planning phases of your office and server closet. Also ensure your fire suppression system follows best practices and won’t go off over just anything.
5) Ensure Generators are Up to Code
Virtually everything that can happen to your UPS can also happen to your generator – and the results won’t be pretty. Generator maintenance should take place on a regular schedule and must include experts who can spot the early warning signs of a potential performance issue. Ideally, basic backup components should be kept on-site in case emergency “first aid” is needed.
6) Take Control of Human Risk
It should come as no surprise that human error can be devastating to your network. These days, countless “errors” will involve people clicking on shady emails or downloads, so make sure every member of the team knows their cybersecurity basics. And that pricey IT equipment? Consider good old-fashioned access control methods like locked doors to keep nosy staff away.
It's a World of Risk Out There: NCA Can Help You Navigate It More Effectively
Business leaders know you can't really eliminate risk, only mitigate it. Many methods of “eliminating” risk would all but eliminate the functionality of your equipment and the personnel who rely on it. But in a world where risk vectors seem to be multiplying by the day, it's still possible to use a proactive approach to take charge.
NCA can help you measure risk and control it through a comprehensive analysis of your internal and external threats. That helps you illuminate your situation, take effective action quickly, and do it at a minimal cost.
You could go it alone, but why take the risk? Call or email NCA today.
Network Computing Architects, Inc. is a premier provider of high quality sustainable and secure networking, information security solutions and unified communications. We partner with our clients to provide answers to business initiatives where leading technologies converge.
NCA achieved ISO 27001:2005 certification in December 2007 and is currently ISO 27001:2013 certified. The scope of NCA's ISMS is client confidential information within NCA Professional Services Practice.