Are you doing all that you can to make sure your business is protected against downtime? According to a recent survey we did in partnership with IndustryWeek, the majority of manufacturers are not. The last post, (Most Businesses Rely on Server Backup Instead of Downtime Prevention) the final in a 3-part series, reveals that most companies are using backup as their high availability solution of choice. What does this mean? It means 64 percent of those surveyed would rather wait for problems to occur and react to them, than proactively protect their infrastructures from outages.

Manufacturing businesses aren’t unlike other companies, in that even one minute of downtime can result in significant financial loss. In fact, we found that the average manufacturing IT system will experience 3.6 instances of downtime at a cost of $65,830 annually. However, the number of IT downtime incidents per year, as well as the financial impact per incident increases as revenues do, so we’re looking at 4.5 incidents per year costing a total of $146,250 for companies bringing in over a billion dollars.

Now, we already know that most companies are choosing to use backup instead of a high availability solution, but what makes us even more uneasy is the fact that less than half of those surveyed even have a strategy in place for high availability. It’s even worse for small businesses with revenue of less than $100 million, where only 23 percent reported having a plan in place. This begs the question again, why are we looking at downtime as inevitable instead of preventable.

For this industry, there are a lot of different factors that may be causing the resistance to high availability solutions. One thought is this industry may simply be behind the curve when it comes to implementing technology solutions of this nature. Take virtualization for example. Our survey revealed that fewer than one in five manufacturing companies currently run production applications such as SCADA, MES, Historian, Batch or OPC in virtual environments. This is clearly behind the curve where, in general, one in five companies run 80 percent of all applications on virtual machines, and one in two companies have virtualized 40 percent of all applications. No matter what the reason is, I urge all manufacturers to look at these statistics closely. Put the plan in place that’s going to save you money and sleep in the long run.

What do you think? Take a closer look at all of the survey data below:
Stratus Technologies’ Survey Shows 64 Percent of Businesses Use Backup as Their High Availability Solution
• Stratus Survey Says: Costly Downtime Plagues Manufacturing IT Systems
• Stratus Technologies’ Survey Shows Manufacturers are not Putting Virtualization to Work

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