The Raritan Blog

Data Center Outages Decrease, But Downtime Costs Rise

Jason Chantelau
August 24, 2022

Data center operators are suffering fewer data center outages, but the financial impact is increasing when they do happen. 

In 2021, 69% of data center operators reported that they experienced an outage during the past three years, down from 78% in 2020, according to a recent Uptime Institute survey of 786 global IT and data center managers. 

The authors of the Uptime Institute Global Data Center Survey 2021 theorize that the decrease in outages during the pandemic was likely due to:

  • Reduced enterprise data center activity.
  • Fewer people on-site.
  • Fewer upgrades.
  • Reduced workload and traffic levels in many organizations.
  • Increased usage of cloud and public Internet-based applications.

Outage severity has stayed static during the past two years. While most of those surveyed said outages were negligible or minimal, 44% of those surveyed in 2020 and 2021 said their outages were severe, profound, or significant and caused substantial financial, operational, and reputational damage, according to the report. 

However, outage costs are rising. Among the respondents who said their outages were significant, serious, or severe, 62% in 2021 said they cost them more than $100,000 in damages, up from 56% in 2020. Of those, 15% in 2021 suffered damages of more than $1 million. 

Causes of Data Center Outages

On-site power problems are the main culprit, causing 43% of data center outages in 2021, followed by networking issues (14% of outages), cooling problems (14%), and software or IT systems errors (14%). 

Overall, 79% of the outages in 2021 involve human error. Those surveyed said the top two issues that led to downtime are a failure to follow procedures and having incorrect staff processes and procedures. More than three-quarters (76%) of IT and data center managers believe their most recent outage was preventable with better management and processes, the survey found.

With the growing dependency on IT infrastructure being reliable and available, monitoring the power chain with the right solutions will greatly reduce the likelihood of those outages. 

Raritan offers the following key capabilities: 

  • Full-color rack PDU chassis options give you a clear visual indicator to identify power feeds quickly. 
  • An intuitive power-sharing feature that notifies the user when a PDU loses power. 
  • A secure locking solution preventing accidental disconnection of equipment. 
  • Flush-mount circuit breakers integrated into the design reduce accidental trips that could interrupt power to the connected load.
  • Circuit breaker trip alarming for an electrical and sound-based indication when a breaker is tripped due to a faulty condition.
  • The Xerus™ Technology Platform for a common web-based application to configure and manage your power devices providing a consistent look, feel, and operation. 

Together these features provide the right intelligent solutions for fast remediation and reduced human error, lowering unplanned downtime and saving your organization money. 

Contact us today to learn more!