In a sense, there is no concept like “small or big” if the company is largely dependent on its data center for its core business functions. Even small simple (time or scale) can be reflected on the income and reputation. You may be ready for a serious outage, but are you also willing to be less serious about downtime?
The Causes Of Disruptions Of The Data Center
Data centers are complex systems with a high level of internal communication, which require the proper functioning of a large number of sub-systems to the object could provide services. Unfortunately, all too often means that one seemingly minor mistake, accident or event can cause a sudden stop of the system.
Take button EPO (emergency power off): One employee is enough to take the button for the device to open the door, and the entire data center will be disconnected from the power supply. Wikipedia recently disconnected from the Internet by fiber optic cable break in the data center, and during the Olympic Games for a while to stop work as a result of Twitter’s system failure (and, interestingly, almost simultaneous failure of a backup system) in its data center.
From all this we can conclude that to stop the data center, it requires a lot less than a hurricane, earthquake, disconnected from the mains or a malicious attack. And if the company perform basic business functions (eg, retail sales over the Internet) is dependent on the data center, each minute of downtime equates to lost revenue. In addition, customers who come to your site or otherwise attempting to gain access to your services, get an error message, can simply turn to a competing provider or retailer, and in this case, you can lose not only a business transaction, and the client whole, that is all the income losses that he could bring. And, perhaps, customers will be indifferent to the break in service, most of them will not long tolerate the unavailability of services at a time when they need them.
“The Service Disruption Continuum”: The destructive events may not necessarily be a serious accident that will destroy your business. This may be a relatively small network card malfunction, or such a devastating event as a sudden regional disaster that not only destroy your data center, but also will damage the nearby roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
Preparations For Minor Interruptions
There is not a foolproof system. Things cannot refuse. Therefore, if we follow the theory of probability, in time data center, regardless of the level of safety, may be damaged. Of course, you should take all possible measures to prevent the stops, for example, set up systems and redundant components to avoid situations in which the failure of one element can become the cause of failure, but also need a plan of action in case of disruption. In many cases, the difference between “big” and “small” can be negligible downtime. In other cases, it may not be so.
For example, the failure of the system, in which the services are still available, but are loaded very slowly, may be no better, if not worse, than a full-scale failure. You probably know how unpleasant slow loading website is: you spend a lot of time, and then still in a rage closes the window. Therefore, the procedures for small outage may be similar to a plan of action for a longer outage. In any case, the main importance is the training, which will minimize damage to the business. Here are a few tips.
Advance Planning: Perhaps the most important step in terms of quick recovery after power – both large and small. If you start to make a plan of action, when they will be disconnected from the power supply, you’ll be at a disadvantage. Previously assigned a person that you want to be contacted in case of the event – and it may even depend on the extent of failure. Develop procedures to identify and correct the problem. Keep a list of service providers to which you will have to ask for help in the event of failure of some systems, such as uninterruptible power supplies. And, most importantly, organize all this information and place it in a location where it can be easily accessible to those who may need it. Planning ahead allows you to quickly resume operation of the data center – and business.
Backing Up Your Data: Often most people consider insurance policies as unnecessary costs that do not benefit. But when disaster breaks out, insurance policies, more than compensated. The same applies to backups of critical data. This procedure seems to be a waste of time and money before the data loss. Then back up is fully justified. However, regular backups should be created during the normal operation of the system. It will be useless or almost useless exercise, when the stop has already occurred.
Deploying A Management / Monitoring Data Center Infrastructure: Key short-term solution is to detect idle its causes. With torch and a multimeter you can hardly do it. You will need a central access to the information and status of systems, in order to enable you to quickly identify and locate problem areas.
Peak Usage Tracking Data Center: Periods of maximum or peak usage data center may be the best time to find potential problems before they cause a stop. Also at this time you should be most ready to stop.
Preparing to brief disruptions in like preparing for a prolonged disruption. Momentary interruption can have a smaller impact on the business, but the problem still needs to be addressed, so that it did not grow into a more serious problem. Smaller outages also may signal the existence of a more serious problem, which may eventually lead to downtime. But in any case, you should take steps to prepare for delays. They can occur in your data center, but if you prepare for them in advance, it will allow you to keep revenues and reputation in the eyes of customers.