Power Redundancy Means Greater System Availability and Business Continuity

Raouf Abdel
Power Redundancy Means Greater System Availability and Business Continuity

Can your company handle a power outage? According to a recent 2017 AFCOM State of the Data Center survey report, 55% of respondents already have N+1 redundancy levels, and less than 5% currently have or are planning for 2(N+1) redundant power systems. That means 45% of the companies surveyed are unprotected from a power supply outage!

You may ask, can’t a single uninterrupted power supply (UPS) do the job? UPS units provide immediate, emergency back-up power to systems by supplying energy stored in batteries, supercapacitors, or flywheels. However, to get true dual power (N+1) redundancy, you need your system to be plugged into two UPS units on different power distribution paths. Why? According to a 2016 Ponemon Institute and Vertiv report, UPS system failure continues to be the number one cause of unplanned data center outages, accounting for 25% of all such events.


The cost(s) of an outage

Many people justify not taking advantage of redundant power sources to save on costs, or point to the fact that their current systems do not have the dual connections to support two power supplies. However, you should weigh the small cost of availability against the larger costs of a critical system outage and downtime.

The Ponemon Institute and Vertiv report shows the average cost of a data center outage has steadily increased from $505,502 in 2010 to $740,357 in 2016 (a 38% net change). In addition, maximum downtime costs for a single data center in 2016 were over $2.4 million. These costs are made up of the activities and resources associated with:

  • problem detection and identification
  • containment of the overall impact of an outage
  • system and network recovery
  • system and data loss
  • business disruption and recovery

There is also the cost of lost business and revenue to consider, which could go into the tens of millions of dollars, or more.

Harness the availability that is offered to you

What’s needed for reliable system availability is dual power protection, and a reliable and resilient data center. As the industry’s largest global colocation and interconnection provider, with an industry-leading track record of >99.9999% uptime, we strive to continuously leverage artful design and innovation in our Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers to ensure the highest degree of security, reliability and efficiency.

To this goal, we highly recommend that you consider the impact on your business and your customers when making the decision whether or not to connect your mission-critical systems to redundant power source. Consider the cost of a single-system failure in terms of its impact on other systems critical to your business and how you serve your employees, partners and customers.

In our more than 175 global IBX data centers, we have seen the ramifications of not leveraging dual power redundancy, even when it was available. We encourage all our customers to take advantage of the power distribution redundancy that is built into our IBX infrastructures. Think of it as you would the care you take to regularly back up your critical systems and data. Only this time, you are proactively protecting system availability for your business and customers.

Learn how your company can protect itself from lost systems and business downtime by contacting Equinix Global Sales.

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Raouf Abdel EVP, Global Operations
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