Networking issues to overtake power problems as main cause of datacentre outages

by Jeremy

According to the Uptime Institute, networking problems are on course to overtake power supply issues as the most common source of datacentre outages, as enterprises look to move more of their workloads to the cloud.

The datacentre resiliency thinktank’s third Annual outage analysis seeks to shine a light on the frequency of downtime incidents affecting server farms over the past 12 months, as well as their causes.

The 2021 report suggests that the frequency of outages appears to have dampened markedly over the past 12 months, with the onset of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic cited as a factor.

“According to our public outage tracking, 2019 was a terrible year for server outages, while 2020 was the best year yet recorded. Not only were there fewer outages reported by publicly available sources, but a lower proportion was severe,” the report stated.

“This is probably because the level of business-critical activity was significantly disrupted and depressed due to Covid-19.” A direct consequence of the government-imposed lockdowns and stay-at-home orders the pandemic brought about last year is that many companies temporarily ceased or scaled back their operations, which may have reduced the number of outages that occurred.

Furthermore, in keeping with the Uptime Institute’s advice to datacentre operators at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, many firms also sought to delay maintenance and upgrade projects, which are typically a source of outages, the report further stated.

“Looking at global, enterprise-class IT more generally (spanning private datacentres, colocation, and public cloud), Uptime Institute’s annual survey data provides a consistent picture over several years, with power problems invariably the biggest single cause of outages,” the report stated.

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