Uptime Institute has just released their annual global data center survey, with respondents from 867 data center operators and IT practitioners. And paradoxically (quoting the study): "Most respondents believe that their hybrid data center approach–a mix of off-premises and privately owned on-premises capacity–has made their IT operations more resilient. If this is the case, it is not supported by the evidence: The number of respondents that experienced an IT downtime incident or severe service degradation in the past year (31%) increased over last year’s survey (about 25%). And in the past three years, almost half of our 2018 survey respondents had an outage. This is a higher-than-expected number."
What more is, nearly 80% said their most recent outage could have been avoided, being due to on-premise power failures, network failures, and software or IT systems errors.
So why are data center outages so common, increasing and why are they so severe? The answer is the increasing complexity in almost all aspects of operating a data center.
Hybrid IT data center architecture is now the norm. Managers therefore navigate in a landscape very different to that of, say five years ago. Complexity and change is increasing and will continue to do so, given the on-going digital transformation in society and business. The immanent challenge is to place workloads efficiently - and only up to half of the respondents are confident that they grip and can compare costs, risks and performance across their facilities.
On top of this comes climate change: Another issue most data center operators claim to not have taken into account.
The changing climate will will bring us natural disasters such as heat waves, flooding rains, droughts, and hurricanes. Data centers are clearly at risk. Only half of the respondents surveyed said that they were addressing potential climate-change effects on their data centers.