Data center outages approaching the $9,000/minute mark

In a few short years, data center outages have nearly doubled in cost. One big part of this trend: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. 

According to Emerson Network Power and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a minute of an unplanned data center outage is $8,851. In 2010, that figure was $5,617. At the same time, the average total cost has risen from $505,502 in 2010 to $740,357 today – a 38% increase.

What’s causing outages?

There’s no single cause of these outages. On the human side of the equation, cyberattacks and DDoS and human error accounted for 22% of outages each.

But the equipment side of things also saw its fair share of problems. The top overall cause of outages was failures to uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems. These accounted for 25% of outages. Also failing were failures of water, heat and air conditioning systems (11%), generator failure (6%), and IT equipment (4%).

(Mother nature accounted for the remaining 10% with weather hazards.)

Action step: Diversify data centers

Most cloud and off-site data centers do what they can to prevent outages by having multiple sites with redundancies built in. That’s not a guarantee of safety, but it is a good thing to look for in potential business partners.

Other takeaways from the report:

  • If you’re managing data in house, make sure all your equipment and hardware is running as expected.
  • Have a plan for what to do if you’re struck by a DDoS , and
  • Be sure to have metrics and measurables on your own data center’s performance. That can justify the decision to keep things in house or allow you to price out other options.