Capitoline LLP, the independent data centre consultancy, maintains a rolling four year statistical analysis of catastrophic data centre failures around the world and has just published the 2012 review to subscribing customers.
108 complete loss of service failures were analysed across all the continents. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the rise in serious fire events accounting for 11% of catastrophic failures. The fire events were evenly spread across transformer, UPS and IT equipment fires. With so much forced air cooling in computer rooms fire remains a significant risk and the poor quality of some fire detection and suppression systems has been revealed.
Lead consultant Barry Elliott commented, [quote]Average data centre outage was up by two hours from 14.5 to 16.5 hours per incident. The median figure is also slightly up at around six hours per outage with the span being from 20 minutes to seven days. That excludes the five sites that were lost completely to fire or flood.[/quote]
Capitoline estimates that this equates to over $73 million in lost business and other costs to the companies involved.
Elliott added, [quote]Once again power problems remain the highest cause of outage at 32%. Environmental issues such as storm, flood and earthquake came in at 8% but sometimes power and environmental issues can overlap where an event such as an electrical storm in turn provokes an electrical outage. 16% of catastrophic failures never had their root cause made public but it would be fair to conclude that at least a third of these would also be power related.[/quote]
Capitoline has concluded that very few events could be put down to unpreventable ‘acts of God’ and the vast majority could have been prevented with better thought towards location, design and operational management.
[quote]Auditing designs, existing data centres and management procedures and the proper training of staff to major standards such as TIA 942, the new European EN50600 and Capitoline’s own DCOM standard would have saved these companies a great deal of time, effort, money and loss of reputation.[/quote]
Capitoline is an independent engineering consultancy specialising in data centre auditing, design and training and is the market leader in data centre auditing with 100s data centres audited in locations around the world from small corporate data centres to large colocation sites and telecoms facilities.