As BCP consultants, we are always asked as to what is the most likely data center outage to expect and how should it be mitigated against. Will it be a catastrophic loss of the data center or will it be a localized failure that will cause a significant impact to the business?
Based on statistics and our past experience over 11 years, you are most likely to experience a localized data center outage versus a catastrophic event. In the past year, the most common outage has been caused by loss of electrical utility power combined with a UPS and backup power generator failure. In all of the cases, the clients had mitigated the threat but “Murphy’s Law” took over and reared its ugly head. They could have further mitigated the potential for failure of 2 components thru N+1 technology but the availability of the data center did not mandate redundant UPS and backup power generator. In all cases, it was critical for the client to have a good relationship with the power company.
So, in a nut shell, harden your data centers for the localized issues (UPS failure, generator failure, PDU’s, HVAC, etc.) and you will minimize impact. Additionally, make sure your Change Management process protects your data center against changes that are not tested or ready for implementation. Many data center failures are caused by people!
There is always a chance you could lose the entire data center but the odds are small!
About MHA: MHA Consulting, with its decade-long track record, is a proven leader in business continuity planning, disaster recovery planning, IT best practices and data center moves and relocations. Every day, MHA helps protect trillions of dollars of global-market assets and top companies around the world rely on MHA services for the continuity of their business. For more information on MHA, contact Michael Herrera at herrera at mha-it dot com or visit www.mha-it.com.