Data centers are perceived as meccas of constant uptime, housing the most mission-critical applications. In reality, data centers are vulnerable to a variety of threats.
There are many ways a data center can fail: power outage, halted cooling, broken equipment, underground cable disruption, natural disasters, and, increasingly, cybercrime. It only takes one incident to cause an outage for your business.
UPS Failure (the very interruptible power supply)
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) failure is responsible for the most data center outages when compared against any other issue. While batteries and generators are in place for redundancy, the failover does not always happen. These outages occur when UPS capacity is exceeded and one of the batteries fails. Think of the batteries like Christmas lights -- if one goes out, the entire string fails. Often, these batteries and generators sit idle for months at a time untested, and do not pass muster in their moment of need.
Cybercrime on the Rise
Cybercrime is the fastest growing cause of unplanned data center outages. To avoid being a victim, ask questions of your data center provider and prequalify any data centers you are considering for disaster recovery (DR).
- Find out if they are using a strong DDoS mitigation solution for detection.
- Ask how frequently system audits are performed.
- Request information on compliance certification.
Surprisingly, most human error is born out of simple mismanagement. Talk to your data center provider to make sure there are documented operational processes and procedures in place. Inquire if the data center managers have trained their entire staff on these processes. There should be Methods of Procedure (MOPs) in place to detail action in case of any unplanned outages. It comes down to the right training, staff experience, and discipline with precise procedures to avoid human disruption.
It is worth mentioning that end of life (EOL) equipment is putting your business at risk. Equipment that is over 10 years old is going to die. It is certainly no longer manufactured and unlikely to be supported by the original manufacturer at this stage. Not only is age a factor in failure, but the product can also become vulnerable to bugs and security breaches because updates and patches are no longer being released for this equipment. Outages are inevitable on EOL equipment, so develop an upgrade plan or brace yourself for downtime.
It's recommended to make a contingency plan for disaster recovery. It’s not if but when an outage will occur.
Are you ready to create a safety net for your data center setup? EmconIT can make a recommendation for your business today.