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Unplanned downtime continues to be a huge vulnerability with today’s applications

12.12.2016Cost of Downtime, Fault ToleranceBy:  
Organizations today expect their applications to be continuously available. Their businesses depend upon it. But what happens when unplanned downtime occurs?

Productivity declines.

Data is lost.

Brand reputations are impacted.

There is potential for regulatory fines.

Revenue is lost.

With these types of impacts organizations must be taking steps to reduce or prevent downtime, right? The reality is that conversations around unplanned downtime and strategies to prevent it are often met with skepticism. It is usually because the impact of downtime is something an organization only appreciates after they’ve experienced an outage. We at Stratus know this all too well because we have been helping customers implement solutions to prevent unplanned downtime for 36+ years.

The results of new Stratus survey further reinforce the spiraling problem. The survey, completed by 250 IT decision makers involved in purchasing or managing high availability solutions for IT or OT platforms, found that while it is known that IT applications cannot tolerate the average length of a downtime incident, decision makers struggle to quantify the cost of downtime and in turn struggle to justify the investment of the right solutions to meet the business requirements.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • Unplanned downtime is a huge vulnerability in today’s IT systems: 72% of applications are not intended to experience more than 60 minutes of downtime, well below the average downtime length of 87 minutes
  • The cost of downtime is the primary ROI justification when assessing availability solutions: 47% of respondents said the estimated cost of downtime is the primary cost justification when considering the adoption of fault-tolerant or high availability solutions
  • However, most organizations cannot quantify the impact of unplanned downtime: 71% of respondents are not tracking downtime with a quantified measure of its cost to the organization

Despite struggling to justify the need to invest in solutions that prevent unplanned downtime, IT organizations are looking for ways to address the problem. One of the common strategies is to leverage high availability features of the current infrastructure including clusters and virtualization technologies. The same study reported that 84% of responding IT organizations who look to virtualization to ensure the availability of their applications still struggle to prevent downtime. The top reasons provided include the high costs of additional operating system or application licenses, the complexity of configuring and managing the environment or the failover time of the solution not meeting SLAs.

The challenges facing IT decision makers is going to continue to grow with the increased adoption of edge based systems, including the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies. The availability of applications

will ensure that information is flowing in our ever-increasing connected world. To meet the challenges of today and prepare for the future, organizations must make efforts to eliminate the risk from the equation.

The bottom line? Unplanned downtime presents a growing risk to organizations that are increasingly reliant on their applications being always available.

Stratus helps organizations prevent application downtime, period. While there are other solutions that can achieve 99.95% availability, Stratus solutions enable the simple deployment and management of cost-effective continuously available infrastructures without changing your applications. Move the hours of downtime and complexity of other solutions aside and support your applications with operationally simple continuous availability.

Want to learn more about how to determine the right amount of investment to combat the negative impacts of downtime? Download this Aberdeen Analyst Insight.

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