Study Shows Significant Increase In Cost Of Unplanned Data Center Outages

Posted on:

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

Data center downtime proves to remain a costly line item for organizations, and the cost has increased significantly in the last three years, according to the results of the “2013 Cost of Data Center Outages,” a new Ponemon Institute study, sponsored by Emerson Network Power. The study of U.S.-based data centers quantifies the cost of an unplanned data center outage at slightly more than $7,900 per minute. This is a 41% increase from the $5,600 it was in 2010.

This year’s report analyzes costs at 67 data centers within the last year across varying industry segments with a minimum size of 2,500 square feet. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the direct, indirect, and opportunity costs from data center outages, including damage to mission critical data, impact of downtime on organizational productivity, damage to equipment, legal and regulatory repercussions, and lost confidence and trust among key stakeholders.

“Given the fact that today’s data centers support more critical, interdependent devices and IT systems than ever before, most would expect a rise in the cost of an unplanned data center outage compared to 2010. However, the 41% increase was higher than expected,” said Larry Ponemon, Ph.D., chairman and founder, the Ponemon Institute. “This increase in cost underscores the importance for organizations to make it a priority to minimize the risk of downtime that can potentially cost thousands of dollars per minute.”

Highlights of the 2013 Costs of Data Center Outages report include:

  • The average reported incident length was 86 minutes, resulting in average cost per incident of approximately $690,200. (In 2010 it was 97 minutes at approximately $505,500.)
  • For a total data center outage, which had an average recovery time of 119 minutes, average costs were approximately $901,500. (In 2010, it was 134 minutes at about $680,700.)
  • For a partial data center outage, which averaged 56 minutes in length, average costs were approximately $350,400. (In 2010, it was 59 minutes at approximately $258,000.)

Those organizations with revenue models that depend on the data center’s ability to deliver IT and networking services to customers—such as telecommunications service providers and e-commerce companies—and those that deal with a large amount of secure data—such as defense contractors and financial institutions—continue to incur the most significant costs associated with downtime; with the highest cost of a single event more than $1.7 million.

These same industries did see a slight decrease (2% to 5%) compared to 2010 costs, while those organizations that traditionally have been less dependent on their data centers saw a significant increase. The largest increase was in the hospitality sector, which saw a 129% increase; followed by the public sector (116%), transportation (108%), and media organizations (104%).

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

Other posts by

Leave a Comment