In 2014, downtime impacted the bottom line more than ever before. Twenty-three percent of the most expensive outages reported were caused by unplanned IT equipment failures and the unfortunate truth is 52% of enterprise executives believe most of these incidents could have been prevented. So, why gamble on downtime?

An incident at any time of year can have significant repercussions on your reputation, brand, revenue, staffing, and compliance posture, but the stakes are even higher during peak revenue periods (such as the holidays) for credit card processors, retailers, manufacturers, airlines, telcos and other businesses. It is during these periods when always-on availability is mandatory.

Can you imagine the effect of one single outage during a peak time of the year that accounts for nearly 20% of total annual retail sales? Or, the impact on the entire commerce ecosystem if there was an outage on Single’s Day – China’s biggest commercial holiday – when shoppers bought more than $9 billion in goods for themselves on November 11th? To put that in perspective, that’s close to three times what Americans spent last year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined!

To put a dollar value to this, consider the cost implications of the Best Buy website outage just this past Black Friday – an issue reportedly brought on by the onslaught of mobile shoppers. If just one minute of IT downtime costs on average $8,023  and the website was down for 2.5 hours, the consumer electronics store would have lost an estimated $1.20 million dollars. That’s a hefty price in goods and it doesn’t account for the many disgruntled consumers either.

So, what do you do to ensure you don’t experience downtime during a peak season and the most critical times of the year? Think always-on availability to give you the peace of mind of having the highest levels of reliability when and where you need it most. We offer several flavors of reliability to suit a variety of customer needs:

  1. Fault Tolerance: First, we announced the Stratus ftServer, with fault-tolerant hardware to prevent downtime and data loss for mission critical applications. Fast forward to today, now we have brought this mainframe-like technology to software with everRun Enterprise, broadening our portfolio of continuous availability solutions to meet the dynamic needs of businesses that can’t afford any downtime. Imagine the chaos and damage that would occur if an airline’s security scans, baggage transport, or air traffic control stopped working at any time – never mind during the busiest travel days of the year?
  2. Reliability at the Edge: No matter the season, it’s critical to ensure continuous availability at the extremes of your network. You need the assurance and peace of mind your edge applications will have the reliability and processing power they need to deliver the performance required at the edge where you may have limited IT support. Consider the importance for a food manufacturer to ensure the uninterrupted production of its products at each of its manufacturing plants during peak demand periods. Companies are ensuring the highest levels of reliability both in the data center and at the network’s edge with Stratus’ everRun Enterprise and ftServer.
  3. Software Defined Availability: What if you could “dial up” availability as required on an application by application basis? Software Defined Availability will do exactly that. In other words we’re providing the ability to dynamically adjust availability levels – from fault tolerance during peak times (such as the holidays for retailers) to lower levels of availability during a lull. This is a significant cost and resource advantage for businesses that only require the assurance of zero downtime for portions of their fiscal year – think payroll applications for example.
  4. Reliability in the Cloud: Enterprises are resistant to move business critical applications to the cloud because there is a huge gap between the levels of availability they need (less than 5 minutes of downtime per year) and the levels provided by most private cloud solutions (less than 5 minutes of downtime per week). Achieving these levels without building availability into the application itself is exactly what Stratus is working on. We recently gave the first public demo of how we run business critical workloads in an OpenStack cloud environment at the OpenStack Summit in Paris.

No matter what your situation, whether you’re a business “livin’ on the edge,” in the data center, or in the cloud, Stratus is committed to providing the reliability you need, when you need it, so that you are completely protected during the crucial times of the year.

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