14 March 2021

The need for ‘reliability’ in a data dependent world

By David Dzienciol, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer

Data centre outages or breaches cause irreparable damage and costly disruptions that wreak havoc on business operations.

Gartner estimates downtime costs about $5,600 per minute – anywhere from $140,000 and $540,00 per hour depending on the organisation. Lost sales; damage to your brand; reduced productivity; lost data are an example of the carnage that follows.

What’s more, a growing number of businesses have experienced downtime or severe interruption at some point over the last few years, according to Uptime Institute’s latest annual Data Centre Survey.

What’s causing the issue? A mix of human error (considered the single largest cause of most technology failures with switching procedures proving particularly risky in data centre environments); network failure; power outages; UPS system failure; natural disasters, and cybercrime – are amongst the most prominent culprits.

Reliability Underpins Success

So understandably, there’s no room for IT infrastructure inefficiencies. I.T is the engine room of business. This is why the reliability of infrastructure cannot be understated – and is such a critical factor in business success today, according to CISO Lens industry analyst – and emeritus adviser at IBRS - James Turner. Addressing why reliability matters, the Uptime Institute identify 3 key issues:

  • Increasing scope and frequency of outages
  • The actual rate at which migration to cloud is occurring, and
  • Increasing complexity of hybrid infrastructures and their resilience, and the resulting performance expectations.

Like Turner, Ecosystm principal advisor, Andrew Milroy, says “reliability of infrastructure is crucial” because businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on technology. Indeed, ‘reliability’ forms a critical word in the data centre customer’s lexicon. It affects the daily lives of businesses on a grand scale, and chillingly is a ‘do or die’ necessity - without it, organisations simply aren’t equipped to act fast and fail fast. In fact, they will struggle to survive.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s the fact that ‘digital resilience’, which helps ensure seamless digital interactions and continuous uptime, is a requisite for success. On the flip side, inaction – which fosters unreliability and ‘poor digital resilience’ - causes a host of concerns, namely:

  • Increased frequency and duration of outages
  • Poor or unreliable network performance and application response times
  • Inability to respond quickly, and adapt to change; and
  • Churn – resulting in reduced customer retention and acquisition.

Putting reliability first

Data centre outsourcing continues to gain traction as organisations look to their digital infrastructure platform to bolster the efficiency, and sustainability of their own operations.

Data Processors are a customer of ours. They’re a data-centric research and technology services company and they’re serious players in analysis and statistical modelling. Their core business is managing enormous volumes of statistical information, so their business is inherently reliant on highly reliable and available infrastructure.

When we first met with Data Processors, they had identified obstacles from within their on-premises data centre, which was struggling to keep pace with the rest of their business. The company was under pressure to service surging infrastructure requirements – and needed to deal with consistent growth in operations, and consistently high volumes of data.

One of the most prominent risks identified to Data Processors operations was their current facility’s inability to maintain 100% uptime.

They were looking for a solution that would help them overcome the challenges that posed a direct threat to growth and customer-centric priorities, which led them to partner with NEXTDC to house their complex and highly customised production environment.

Preparedness Check-list

So, what’s the answer? Better still, what questions should you be asking on the reliability front? Partnering with a data centre provider that guarantees resiliency and availability – and actively champions the crucial role IT infrastructure plays in any organisation’s growth strategy – is critical.

Businesses must have confidence that their IT infrastructure has the level of availability and reliability that they consider appropriate and sustainable for their needs.

Reliability is the cornerstone that helps minimise downtime, and the potential downstream effects it creates including: network interruptions; service quality issues; overheated equipment – all symptoms of poor digital resilience.

Businesses need the assurance their infrastructure will bend and flex with all the neck jarring twists and turns that come in a world where the one constant, is change. Not being able to rely on the engine that drives business introduces additional risk that organisations need to prioritise and respond to.

Reliability factors to consider;

  • Availability - Are the highest levels of availability and redundancy built in: if there’s a disaster or power outage, what’s the backup strategy?
  • SLAs – What’s the power SLA that supports the data centre infrastructure? Are operations built and run to the highest global standards in order to mitigate the risk of mishaps and safeguard business operations?
  • Energy efficiency - How do you stay ahead in a data economy, yet keep costs down without sacrificing reliability – all whilst operating responsibly and sustainably?
  • Health and safety - What systems are in place to deal with emergencies like fire, and are they tested regularly? What are the ongoing safety measures to protect staff in what is largely understood as high-risk environments?
  • Security - What are the layers of security in place? What do the physical security procedures and protocols comprise of?
  • Management – Do you have reliable resources to run and manage your infrastructure given the shortage of skilled data centre staff.

Reliable Partners

Organisations are leaning on their IT infrastructure more than ever. Ensuring they maintain the highest levels of reliability is imperative.

We live in a data economy, as such, our mission is to support our customers through their evolving transformation journeys and beyond – enabling them to focus on growth and innovation.

In the digital economy, data and its availability form the currency in which business needs to thrive. The unavailability, or poor performance of digital infrastructure has a marked impact on productivity, customer experience and the bottom line. These strategic digital assets form the heart of every digital business, and without reliable critical infrastructure like NEXTDC’s, there is no pulse.

The quality of our digital infrastructure is widely recognised. Reliability and resilience are deeply intertwined in the values of our company and our brand promise. We are honoured to be recognised as Australia’s leading data centre provider, and Australia’s most reliable data centre provider. Our greatest accomplishments to date however, are the partnerships we’ve formed with our customers, and the role we play in helping them achieve their objectives.

If we can help you bolster the reliability of your critical infrastructure, reach out to our team.