Outages continue to hit data centre operators


Outages continue to cause significant problems for data centre operators, according to the findings of the Uptime Institute’s 9th annual data centre survey. The survey of around 1,600 data centre professionals found that just over a third (34%) had an outage or severe IT service degradation in the past year, while half (50%) had an outage or severe IT service degradation in the past three years.

Power loss was the biggest cause of outages, accounting for one-third, while networking issues were close behind, at 31%. The financial impact of these outages in some instances was severe: 10% of all respondents said that their most recent significant outage cost them more than $1 million. Sixty percent of respondents said their data centre’s outage could have been prevented with better management/processes or configuration.

According to the findings, distributed resiliency using active-active data centres is becoming more common. Forty percent (40%) of those surveyed said they use availability zones for resiliency – a strategy that requires at least two active data centres replicating data to each other. Most operators surveyed reported having a hybrid strategy. IT workloads are being spread across a range of services and data centres, with about a third of all workloads expected to be contracted to cloud, colocation, hosting and Software as a Service (SaaS) suppliers by 2021.

However, a lack of visibility, transparency and accountability of public cloud services remains a major concern for enterprises with mission-critical applications. A fifth of operators surveyed said they would be more likely to put workloads in a public cloud if there was more visibility. Half of those using public cloud for mission-critical applications also said they do not have adequate visibility.

There is still strong adherence to the large privately-owned enterprise data centre, which accounts for half of all IT workloads currently and is predicted to continue doing so in the near future. Meanwhile, a high proportion of respondents expect to own and run their own edge data centres, perhaps in conjunction with third parties.

Other key findings included the fact that the industry continues to experience staffing issues: 61% of respondents said they had difficulty retaining or recruiting staff – up from 55% a year earlier. According to the majority of respondents, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will not reduce data centre staffing requirements in the next five years; however, most think automation will reduce staff requirements in the future. To download the report, click here.



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