The four big threats for a Data Center

Nowadays, data and applications are the pillar of any organization. These, through the IT systems that protect and manage them in the data center, support in important part the success of the businesses on their way to the Digital Transformation.

For this reason, its availability is vital for organizations that seek to become permanently active companies.

However, 67% of the directors of Sistemas in Mexico suffer from 1 to 10 events of unplanned inactivity of their applications due to IT failures, external forces or other factors, according to the 2017 Availability Report of Veeam Software .

This time of unavailability or insufficient unplanned availability of applications is the reason why two thirds of the companies surveyed by Veeam globally have seen their Digital Transformation initiatives inhibited, either significantly or in some way.

In addition to that, for companies, the downtime of their systems represents an average annual cost of 21.8 million dollars, 36% more than the figure of 2016.

Unexpected disruptions come in four main forms, becoming horror stories that threaten the continuity of business. Here is each of them:

1. Human errors

As much as the companies involved try to hide it, there are multiple examples of facts in which some human error (the so-called ‘humanware’) causes true ‘terrifying’ moments.

One of the most recent is the case of one of the most important airlines in the United Kingdom: at the end of last May a contractor carried out maintenance work in its data center when – unwittingly – disconnected a power source and, upon reconnection, it caused more damage to the systems by causing an overload, also affecting its failover infrastructure.

The 15 minutes that the data center was down meant the cancellation of more than 400 flights and losses that are calculated at 100 million euros.


2. Cybercrime

It is undeniable the evolution that security threats have shown in the current environment of business IT, being a clear example of the so-called advanced persistent threats (APTs, for its acronym in English).

These, championed by the lethal Ransomware, have affected dozens of companies so far this year.

The impact – and fear – in organizations has not been long in coming: the report ‘Taking the offensive: working together to interrupt digital crime’, by BT and KPMG, proves this by noting that 91% of policyholders of decision in multinational companies admit that they face obstacles when trying to defend themselves from today’s digital attacks.


3. Natural disasters

The recent earthquakes last September in Mexico, which together affected more than a thousand properties (residential and business) in several states in the country, are proof that natural disasters can take place at any time, leaving in their wake floods , electrical failures, landslides and other types of damages that can lead to temporary or permanent unavailability of data and applications.


4. IT equipment that fail

The technology is not infallible: the Veeam Availability Report indicates that every year at least 1 in every 4 servers worldwide suffer an unplanned disconnection, with an average of 23 minutes of downtime per event.

For companies, they are failures that represent important challenges for the goal of reaching zero in their time and recovery point objectives (RTPO); that is, in its attempt to achieve a recovery without loss of data and without disruption of applications.

These horror stories are not isolated in the current business dynamic.

According to the report Ponemon Institute’s Costs for Interruptions in Data Centers, which was based on surveys of organizations from different industries that experienced at least one unplanned interruption in their data center, in 2016, among the main The causes of such interruptions are just failures in the UPS equipment (with 25% of the answers), human errors and cybercrime (with 22% each), the problems related to climatic aspects (10%) and the failures in the IT equipment (4%).

The downtime and the loss of data they provoke are not fiction. It is a priority that the security and business continuity strategy includes having well-defined policies based on best practices and considering having more than one alternate site, as well as having the data center operate with a backup and recovery infrastructure that provides mechanisms of agile and reliable availability, so as to enable the initiatives of Digital Transformation of business.

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