The Search for Zero, cont.
In my previous blog article, I wrote about the typical claims you hear in the market about "Recovery in minutes" and "Avoid downtime" and, of course, "Zero data loss." As I mentioned, those claims all sound sensible, but the real question is "Are you prepared to tackle an outage based on a prescribed approach?" If the answer is no, then I highly recommend you read my previous blog article before continuing on with this one.
In this blog article, I'll discuss the potential financial impact of an outage and why you need a data partner as opposed to a data vendor. Let's start with the financial impact.
How much do outages really cost?
The Ponemon Institute has conducted several studies of this, with the most recent one published in 2016. According to their latest study, the average cost of a data center outage has steadily increased from $505,502 in 2010 to $740,357 in 2016. That's a whopping 38% increase! Even further, we can safely assume outages are more expensive today.
To make their assessment, the Institute looked at these primary factors in calculating costs:
- Damage to mission-critical data
- Impact of downtime on organizational productivity
- Damages to equipment and other assets
- Cost to detect and remediate systems and core business processes
- Legal and regulatory impact, including litigation defense cost
- Lost confidence and trust among key stakeholders
- Diminishment of marketplace brand and reputation
Ponemon found that the cost of downtime has a large range, depending on industry and other factors, but the average is about $9,000 per minute!
Another way to look at it is this - 99.9% uptime may sound good, but that translates into about 44 minutes of downtime per month, therefore costing the average business almost $400,000! Adding another 0.09 to that SLA - making it 99.99% - translates into about 4 minutes per month, which obviously represents a huge savings and provides firm justification for investing in an appropriate level of protection.
Finding the right partner
The market for backup and recovery services is crowded, and you will find no shortage of potential vendors. The key is finding one that has suitable technology, can deliver what you need at a competitive price, and also has people you can depend on when the time comes.
Ideally, you should look for a partner who has a large number of clients who are similar to your business. That can help with the synergy of initial discussions. Also, talk to some of their engineering people, not just an account representative. Can you communicate easily with them? Are they listening and truly understanding your priorities and unique challenges?
Once you’ve selected a partner, work with them to develop a plan that will fit your organization’s unique set of requirements and put together an implementation schedule that won’t disrupt your operations. The whole process - from initial consultation, through to first tests, and then to completed deployment - can take less than a week with the right partner.
Putting it all together
When you understand the anatomy of an outage and all of its stages, you can plan effectively and make good decisions. Likewise, selecting the right backup and recovery partner and developing your unique plan can put you in the best position in case of disaster. Even more, you can develop well-planned proposals for management that they will understand and appreciate in business terms.
Don’t be fooled by a “failover in minutes” pitch. It’s easy to avoid overpromising and underdelivering when you understand all the implications – and the costs – associated with each stage of an outage.
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