Server cages at a data center by Equinix, the world's largest colocation provider. (Photo by Equinix)

Survey: Enterprise Data Centers Fail More Often Than Colos

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Traditional enterprise data centers had significantly more outages that had an impact on business than did colocation data centers over a recent span of 12 months.

That is another conclusion from the latest survey of data center industry professionals conducted by the Uptime Institute. We covered data center budget trends from the survey on Thursday, and today we are looking at outage-related data.

Seven percent of enterprise data center operators (other than financial services companies) that were surveyed, said they had five or more “business-impacting” data center outages over 12 months. Only three percent of the colocation data center operators that were surveyed could say the same for their recent outage record.

The split between enterprises and third-party data center service providers that participated in the survey was fairly even.

In-house data center operators for financial service companies came in second, with six percent of such operators saying they had five or more painful outages over the past 12 months.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of outage data from the slide deck of Matt Stansberry, Uptime’s director of content who presented results of the survey at the 2014 Uptime Symposium in Santa Clara, California, earlier this month:

Uptime downtime slide

According to the survey, availability is the number-one selection criterion companies use when choosing a data center provider. Asked whether they had experienced an unscheduled outage with their data center provider, 21 percent said that they had.

Majority of the enterprises surveyed said they were satisfied with their data center providers (half of them saying they were very satisfied, with the other half saying they were somewhat satisfied).

Little scheduled downtime in colo contracts

More than 40 percent of the participants said their contracts with colocation providers did not permit any scheduled downtime.

About 30 percent said their contracts permitted between one and 12 hours of scheduled downtime per year; six percent allowed for 13 to 24 hours of downtime; two percent allowed for more than 96 hours, and two percent allowed from 24 to 48 hours.

Of the financial services companies that were surveyed, 75 percent said their colocation contracts allows for zero hours of unscheduled outages.

More than half of all companies surveyed said they measured the cost of data center downtime.

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  1. Interesting. Makes me wonder how much the difference in perspective comes into play. Although a recent IDG Intel survey conveys a message that IT leaders desire improved data center agility, far too many organizations seem to view their data centers as expenses and necessary evils. Whereas colos often are focused on efficiency, agility, etc. -- not expenses but investments.