Breaking Down the Cost Implications of a Data Center Outage

by Marissa Donatone on 7/23/14 10:35 AM

Emerson Network Power and the Ponemon Institute worked together to determine the full economic cost of unplanned data center outages. Below is a preview, for the full report CLICK HERE

The 2013 Cost of Data Center Outages is the only benchmark study that attempts to estimate the full costs associated with an unplanned data center outage. According to the study, the cost of a data center outage has increased since 2010.

The cost per square foot of data center outages now ranges from $45 to $95. Or, a minimum cost of $74,223 to a maximum of $1,734,433 per organization in our study. The overall average cost is $627,418 per incident.

This benchmark analysis focuses on representative samples of organizations in the U.S. that experienced at least one complete or partial unplanned data center outage during the past 12 months. The analysis was based on 67 independent data centers located in the United States. Following are the functional leaders within each organization who participated in the study:

  • Facility manager
  • Chief information officer
  • Data center management
  • Chief information security officer
  • IT compliance leader


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Topics: downtime, data center infrastructure, efficient data center, data center outages

Without Power? Rethink your Data Center Power Strategy

by Gary Hill, President of DVL, LLC on 2/7/14 1:47 PM

_MG_5485The last two weeks have likely been a challenging time for a server room manager to sleep at night.  With one snow storm, and one ice storm reliable power is the hot topic!

As power is slowly restored to the affected areas, it is interesting to see many empty parking lots along the Route 202 corridor.  Likely some of these businesses are having second thoughts about their IT preparedness strategy.  Losing power for a few hours is one thing, but being without power for days is a whole different challenge.

If you have a generator it probably took the load before your UPS batteries went dead.  For managers relying on rack-mounted UPS systems to carry them through probably experienced a few unwelcome surprises – shorter battery run-times than expected and unplanned server shutdowns, i.e. crashes.  Depending on the type of UPS technology you have, your lack of run-time may have you looking for better technology.  What type you have now doesn’t really matter because going forward, you want to only buy On-Line Double Conversion units, not Line Interactive.

UPS units – even rack-mounted ones – are designed to protect against fluctuations in the utility power quality as well as provide battery backup in the event of an outright failure.  Line interactive UPS units are very commonly used.  The problem is that they rely on the battery for more than just utility power loss.  Frequency or voltage variations trigger the load to shift to the battery, and even though it may only be energized for a short period of time these frequent ‘hits’ curtail their life.  Double-conversion UPS units, as the name implies converts the utility AC power feed to DC, and then regenerates a clean AC feed to the connected load (where it is them internally converted back to DC!).  The only time the battery pack is energized is if there is an outright power failure.  The benefit is longer battery runtimes. More Information Click Here.

UPS batteries however have a finite life.  Just like your flashlight or car battery, they degrade with time and load.  With all the tasks IT Managers have, maintain an updated UPS battery replacement schedule likely isn’t high on the list.  After experiences like this week – maybe it gets moved up but that is hindsight. 

After utility power is restored the next issue to deal with is replacing the batteries.  Replacing them will of course mean another shutdown. Here is an idea – invest in a Liebert MicroPod which allows you to externally bypass the UPS and not have to shutdown anything.  Here is a link to this remarkably inexpensive, highly useful UPS add on.

All this UPS discussion is good for minutes – maybe an hour of battery backup.  After this storm you may be more interested in hours rather than minutes.   For critical devices– like network switches now is the time to consider a DC UPS power solution.  Before telephony went IP, DC power was the de-facto power standard in the industry.  The small windowless telephone buildings you see were built to provide local switching for a DC-powered network.  It is tried and true technology that did not migrate quickly to the server room.  Now however nearly all manufacturers offer DC-powered equivalent products – particularly the switch manufacturers like Cisco.

The biggest advantage for making your network switch DC powered is you can economically power it for HOURS without spending a fortune on batteries or real estate.  IT Managers with disaster experience will deploy this technology if they do not have a backup generator.  The DC option is often overlooked by network designers when selecting a power system.

The Emerson Netsure family of products offers a rack-mounted solution that has the same form factor as an AC-powered UPS. The DC systems offer the significant advantages of scalability and redundancy.  And a string of DC batteries at -48Vdc, is on tenth the number of jars used for an AC UPS with a 480Vdc battery system!  This means that you can get a lot of bang for your buck, meaning longer run times of 4 to 8 to 12 hours (depending on your load) without buying a lot of batteries.  And the rectifiers that convert the AC source to DC, are modular and hot swappable.  That means that you can have enough power to support your load, plus one rectifier for redundancy, and open slots in the chassis to add more rectifiers in the event that your load grows over time.

The DC Plant, distribution breakers, and the batteries can all fit into one rack!

And if some of your loads are AC only, a rack mounted inverter can be used to power those loads off of the DC plant (using the same extended battery backup).

DVL offers a complete line of Emerson Netsure DC systems ranging from 8 watts to 200 watts per rectifier and systems that range from 10 amps to 10,000 amps.  If you’re interested in learning more please download this Emerson Network Power whitepaper “DC Power Systems for Convergent Networks

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Topics: Data Center, data center outages, DC Power, 7x24 exchange, Battery, UPS

Can Building Codes Ensure Power Reliability?

by Mike Rinaldi on 6/14/13 1:33 PM

The impact of Hurricane Sandy gave U.S. power providers as well as code making bodies a wake-up call.  Why are facilities that must operate to provide services during disasters allowed to locate critical electrical system components in vulnerable areas? Although designs of this magnitude require a great deal of thought and planning, it’s difficult to include every possible scenario. Even codes and standards as extensive as they are can’t cover everything. 


Click below to check out the white paper

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Topics: Emerson Network Power, data center infrastructure, reduce cost, Data Center, data center infrastructure management, efficient data center, electrical distribution, reduce downtime, data center outages, short circuit current ratings

Converting Retail to Data Centers?

by Mike Rinaldi on 5/30/13 8:32 AM

With Ubiquity, Sears is Turning Shuttered Stores into Data Centers

Ubiquity Critical Environments, a newly-created unit of Sears Holdings, will convert this Sears retail store in Chicago into data center space. (Photo: Ubiquity)

Will blinking blue lights of servers soon fill the aisles that previously offered the Blue Light Special? Sears Holdings has formed a new unit to market space from former Sears and Kmart retail stores as a home for data centers, disaster recovery space and wireless towers.

>> Read more here

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Topics: data center infrastructure, reduce cost, Data Center, Green IT, data center design, data center energy, data center infrastructure management, efficient data center, Green Technology, data center outages, Energy Star, cloud strategy, CIO

Does DC Have a Chance in the Data Center?

by Mike Rinaldi on 5/14/13 7:38 AM

As data centers take an ever larger bite of worldwide energy production, efficiency becomes an increasingly urgent topic. Much of the focus in recent years has been on areas like virtualization, improved cooling practices (like free cooling and bumping up the thermostat), consolidation of idle equipment and so on—and rightly so. In the background, however, has been a growing discussion about a fundamental topic:alternating-current (AC) versus direct-current (DC) power. AC power won the day when electrical infrastructure was first being deployed, but could DC be poised for a return from the dead? 

[The Data Center Journal]

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Topics: data center infrastructure, reduce cost, data center design, robust data center, efficient data center, DVL, electrical distribution, data center outages, DC Power

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