The Five Biggest Costs of Data Center Downtime

Josh Schaap
January 21, 2015

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Data center downtime is one of the most expensive—and deadly—threats facing IT professionals today. The overall cost of downtime can range from thousands of dollars per minute to hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour, depending on the size and severity of the outage.

It’s for this reason that 93 percent of data centers that experience data center downtime for more than 10 days go out of business in less than a year.

But why is downtime so expensive? Here are the top five biggest expenses that can accrue when data center equipment fails:

Lost revenue: When customer-facing solutions like VoIP, website, and transaction servers fail, revenue can come to a screeching halt. This is particularly true for businesses that operate almost entirely online. If customers can’t complete transactions, they will be quick to seek out the services of one of your competitors.

Employee productivity: Downtime affects more than customers; it hampers internal productivity, too. When employees can’t access the Web, most business processes stop until the network is repaired.

Labor: How do you want your IT department to spend its time: repairing your core network every time it fails, or implementing new cutting-edge solutions to drive revenue? Don’t pay top IT professionals to perform grunt work.

Failed hardware: Think of the amount of money that you pay for your hardware. You want to make sure that you get a maximum return on your investment and are not losing money due to inefficiency and heavy maintenance or repair costs.

Customer trust: By and large, customer trust is one of the biggest costs that you will have to pay for downtime. If customers learn they can’t trust your network to operate, they’ll see your business as unreliable, too.

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