Efficient Breakers Make Reliable Data Centers

Breakers for Data Centers and Reducing Server Downtime

For the IT or data center manager, downtime is always a prime concern. In today’s business model, downtime isn’t just an inconvenience. It can mean lost revenue.

According to a 2009 survey of the Data Center User’s Group, efficiency was listed as a primary concern by more than 47 percent of data center professionals polled. This ultimately makes energy and energy saving the second concern overall.

It is also important to remember that as more and more companies cut costs due to the downturn in the economy, IT teams are forced to do more with less; and this includes everything – from staff to hardware resources. All these issues have left many data centers and those who manage them, at great risk for equipment failures, power outages, and unplanned downtime; this ultimately means more pressure on the installed breakers for data centers.

Power Concerns and Breakers for Data Centers

Since companies began taking advantage of high density server configurations and virtualization options, many have done so without proper consideration of the data center’s current power limitations. All these attempts at increasing capacity can ultimately take down an entire data center if a proper power audit is not conducted, and includes a review of the breakers for data centers currently in use. When power limitations are not considered when implementing all these different technologies, disruptions in power and service can result. Depending on the type of business or industry, this type of issue could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial losses, as well as losing potential future customers.

According to the “National Survey on Data Center Outages” by the Ponemon Institute, 95 percent of companies have experienced an unplanned downtime event within the past two years. These downtime events included complete data center outages, partial data center outages, and device-level outages. It is also important to note that more than 60 percent of the companies surveyed relied on their data center to support e-commerce activity. Less than 35 percent believe their data center utilizes critical system design and redundancy best practices to keep systems running and available for use.

Another issue that was discovered during the survey was that, unfortunately, data center management in general does not feel they have enough or appropriate resources to quickly respond to an unplanned outage or failure of breakers for data centers. The average downtime of an unplanned event is 107 minutes per outage. The industries that suffered the longest downtimes were in the healthcare and civic/public sectors. They were closely followed by the industrial and financial sectors. As the push to move to electronically-held medical records continues, proper redundancy and data center design will become a bigger and bigger issue.

The study from the Ponemon Institute should be a wake-up call for data center managers and company management alike. While it is easy to push power concerns to the back burner, the truth is each time a server or data center goes down, a company loses income, and more importantly, new potential customers.