But server downtime doesn’t have to be malicious. Look at this accidental fire which wiped out BOTH the PRIMARY and BACKUP servers.
Of course, when incidents like these happen, it causes a lot of problems for the company.
- They might fall out of compliance with industry regulations.
- They might cause problems for employees by missing payroll deadlines.
- Customers might leave because of unreliable service.
But it’s really hard to put a number on those costs. What CAN be measured, however, are the direct productivity and revenue costs that get incurred during an IT blackout.
Normally, these kinds of calculations require lots of boring formulas and spreadsheets. But there is a tool that allows just about anyone to simulate a server downtime incident at their company… or any other company that publishes its numbers.
Online backup provider Storagepipe Solutions, in an effort to raise awareness for the importance of business continuity planning, has released a new tool that helps track and simulate the effects of a major server crash: http://downtimecost.com [site no longer works]
Using this calculator is fairly easy.
For example: Just pick any Fortune 500 company, look up their workforce and financial data on Wikipedia, and hit the PANIC button to watch the real-time costs.
And this can be applied to any company where you have a rough idea of their annual revenues and workforce numbers.
For those of you who might be concerned about company privacy, you can rest assured that the calculator does not collect identifying information or require any account registration. It’s completely anonymous.
In order to estimate a realistic recovery time, you can assume the following:
- Extremely large companies have geographically distributed systems with lots of redundancy. So a full crash is improbable. Although partial failures still happen.
- Smaller to mid-sized companies can expect a 5-15 hour window for a full server rebuild. This number will rise within the next few years as data storage growth continues and data management gets more complex.
- Smaller companies might expect a few days of server downtime before they can get back up.
Guest post by Patrick who’s a technical writer with Storagepipe. If you’d like to learn more about server downtime prevention, business continuity and high-availability, these there is a lot more information available at http://storagepipe.com.