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New uptime analysis points to deteriorating costs and consequences of downtime

by Helen J. Wolf
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New data from Uptime Institute shows that the costs and impact of downtime are increasing as those involved in the data infrastructure fail to find ways to curb outages.

The 2022 annual Outage Analysis report shows that operators still struggle to meet high customer standards as demand grows.

One in five organizations surveyed in the report said they had experienced a major or major outage in the past three years, an increasing trend in the prevalence of major outages.

80% of data center managers and operators said they had experienced an outage in the past three years, a marginal increase from previous statistics that generally fluctuated between 70% and 80%.

New uptime analysis points to deteriorating costs

Cost is also a major issue reflected in the data. Outages costing more than $100,000 have increased in recent years, with more than 60% resulting in at least $100,000 in total losses. This is a significantly higher figure than the 39% recorded in 2019. The share of failures costing more than $1 million also rose from 11% to 15% over the same period.

Power outages were found to be responsible for 43% of outages classified as significant (causing downtime and financial loss). The biggest cause of power outages is uninterruptible power supply (UPS) failures, which are often extremely difficult to manage.

There are also often network issues that cause downtime issues. According to Uptime’s 2022 Data Center Resiliency Survey, network-related issues have been the leading cause of all IT service downtime incidents, regardless of severity, over the past three years. This is attributed to the complexity of new technologies and cloud architectures and the rise of human error in dealing with these issues.

When looking at issues related to human error, nearly 40% of organizations have experienced a major outage in the last three years. Of these incidents, 85% resulted from company personnel not following the procedures or errors in the processes and systems themselves.

It was also found that high pressure on third-party IT providers is responsible for many public outages. Third-party commercial IT operators are responsible for 63% of all publicly-reported outages tracked by Uptime since 2016. In 2021, commercial operators caused 70% of all outages. The company believes that the more workloads are outsourced to third-party providers, the more these operators are responsible for high-profile public outages.

“The lack of improvement in overall failure rates is due in part to the massive recent investments in digital infrastructure and all the associated complexities faced by operators in transitioning to hybrid, distributed architectures,” emphasizes Uptime Institute Intelligence Founder and Executive Director Andy Laurens.

“Digital infrastructure operators are still struggling to meet the high standards customers expect and service-level agreements demand, despite improved technologies and the industry’s strong investments in resilience and the prevention of downtime.”

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