Anyone in the industry knows that downtime is costly. That’s why every data center is equipped with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system. However, we don’t always think about how wide reaching those costs can be if the UPS system doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do – power the data center when the main power supply has gone down.
According to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute, there are seven main ways that downtime will cost you money in the event of a data center power outage.
1. Damage to mission critical data
The whole purpose of a data center is to store, process, and/or distribute data. Some of this data is more valuable than others. It is mission critical if it is crucial to the long-term health of your business. Downtime can cause damage or a complete loss to this data. There are costs associated with not being able to access this data temporarily, losing the data fully without being able to recover it, and having to recreate all or some of it. The costs can be detrimental to your organization.
2. Impact of downtime on organizational productivity
Employee resources are often redeployed during and after downtime. Security personnel must keep sensitive areas of the organization safe from outside vulnerabilities. IT personnel must work to recover data, reboot systems, and troubleshoot hardware issues as it all comes back online. Employees in other departments are often completely unable to do their jobs, so their productivity plummets. This causes little or no work to be done during the outage and a backlog to complete when they are able to start working again.
3. Damages to equipment & other assets
The hardware used in many data centers is fragile and the software corruptible. If downtime occurs, the hardware can break and the software can become corrupted. Neither of these is a cheap or easy fix and leads to longer downtime.
4. Cost to detect and remediate systems & core business processes
If there is a downtime incident, your company will need to look at current business practices to determine where there are holes and what needs to be changed to fill them. This is a costly process that takes time and resources to remediate. Implementation of a new process is also a potentially costly venture.
5. Legal & regulatory impact, including litigation defense costs
If you operate a data center for external customers, downtime puts their data at risk. This opens you up to long, expensive legal proceedings. Based on local, state, and federal regulations, you may also face steep fines because of the downtime.
6. Lost confidence & trust among key stakeholders
Who are your key stakeholders? Funding partners? Stockholders? Employees? A loss of uptime will cause a loss of confidence and trust. This may mean that your employees will find other employment; your stockholders may sell off their shares; or your funders may pull funding. This can be detrimental to the operation of the data center.
7. Diminishment of marketplace brand & reputation
They say you’re only as good as your reputation. If you have downtime that results in a loss of data, your reputation will diminish. This will affect your public brand persona, making it difficult to gain new customers. This is extremely costly and has a long-term effect on the health and growth of your data center.
You can avoid a downtime incident by making sure your UPS system is always ready to operate at a moment’s notice. Regular maintenance and monitoring of UPS batteries are a must.