Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
IT Systems are like that.

The above haiku, in a lighter vein, perfectly reflects an often-overlooked aspect of computer systems. The scourge of system downtime has affected a vast majority of organizations at some point or the other. A sudden hardware failure can kill access to mission-critical applications leading to loss of productivity and efficiency and can be financially detrimental too. Below are some statistics to help us understand the magnitude, causes and impact of this problem. A better understanding will help address the issues more proactively and effectively.

Causes of Hardware Failure

Impact of Downtime Caused by Hardware Failure

A) Financial
  • $5,600 – The average cost of data center downtime across industries was approximately $5,600 per minute
  • $13,000 – One in five businesses lose $13,000 an hour through systems downtime
  • $42,000 – Gartner says that the hourly cost of downtime for computer networks can be as high as $42,000
  • $84,000 – On average, businesses lose between $84,000 and $108,000 (US) for every hour of IT infrastructure downtime
  • $680,000 – For a total data center outage, which had an average recovery time of 134 minutes, average costs were approximately $680,000
  • $46 million – Downtime costs more than $46 million per year
  • 127 million person-hours – Hardware failure costs businesses, collectively, more than 127 million person-hours per year

The Cost of Hardware Failure by Industry Segment:
B) Interruptions:

The interruption costs are the costs that go unnoticed. They generally spring up when IT professionals are interrupted from what might be more productive work. Just consider a scenario where your email server is down. That interruption takes the time it takes, plus the time to fix the problem. A study by UC Irvine points out that it often takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus and get your attention back after an interruption. According to a Carnegie Melon University study, cognitive function can decrease by 20 percent after an interruption. Just imagine the damage that multiple interruptions can do to your employees’ concentration level.

Are companies ready to handle Hardware Failures? Check the survey below:

  • 35% of businesses are completely unaware of the financial implications of hardware failures
  • IDC found that, of firms with fewer than 100 employees, 35% are never testing their plans.
  • 41% of midsize firms (up to 1,000 employees) are testing their plans once per year.
  • Large firms (1,000 – 5,000 employees), 52% test their plans more than once per year, sometimes semi-annually, or even more often.
  • Only 2% of organizations can say they recovered from their latest hardware failure within a year.

Best Practices to Mitigate Hardware Failure Impact

Servers form an integral part of any hardware setup are prone to cause the maximum failure impact . Servers have a higher failure rate due to hard-drive failures caused by the drives functional dependency on moving parts. Though Solid State drives (which have no moving parts) are available, they are prone to degradation after substantial usage. Below are some of the data-management and back-up processes utilized industry-wide to minimize the impact of server failures.

1) Server Refresh:
Replace all servers at regular, planned intervals. Typically, the life cycle for a server is around 4-5 years. This is necessary to ensure the longer shelf-life of hardware components.
2) Use FTP transfer:
Transfer database and call recordings to a remote server through FTP transfer. This prevents loss of data in the event of hardware failure.
3) Indulge in Server Clustering:
In order to spread server components over several physical machines, server clustering is useful. It creates a system where there is no single point of failure.
4) Replicating to A CRM System:
It will create two sources of live data.
5) Use RAID Arrays:
It bifurcates the data over two or more disk drives. Even if one drive fails, the other one will be available for use.
6) Have A Master/Slave Database Set-Up:
It creates a copy on another local machine. The other one can take over if the main server fails.

How Integration International Inc Can Help You

Integration International Inc. partners with today’s leading OEM vendors and facilitates the design, procurement and implementation of robust hardware infrastructure designed to minimize the impact of hardware failures.
Our technology team has years and years of experience in successfully managing all aspects of client IT infrastructure.

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