Often you only realise how critical a system is on the day it stops working, so imagine the situation where a system you know is crucial no longer functions! Today, as IT is so interconnected with everyday business, fingers are always pointed toward the same group when a system is not accessible: the IT staff.
Although the need for high availability environments is becoming more prevalent, this type of solution is still too often considered as part of the IT recovery plan, so simply as a precaution. Yet, more and more companies are evolving their architecture towards high availability because they derive significant gains in terms of both productivity, security, as well as resource management.
For businesses, time is money, as much as for gains as for losses. High availability environments are on their way to being a requirement in order to meet the needs of companies, both to avoid losses, but also to increase revenues.
We have an example of a client where a server interruption was calculated to cost about $ 300,000 / hour. By implementing a high availability solution, the investment paid for itself immediately because in the 3 years preceding the implementation of the solution, there were at least three incidents which cost $ 900,000 in total. Since the implementation of the high-availability solution, no new service interuption was reported.
More and more companies are including the high availability of services in contracts with very severe penalties in case of interruption.
Amount of downtime compared to rate of availability (annually)
• Conduct business and production activities without interruption
• Eliminate losses related to the non-availability of services
• Provide service guarantees to end customers
• Eliminate the overtime evenings or weekends to make important updates on systems
• Address the problem of reduced backup windows
• Simplify the IT recovery plan
Critical services, on which the operation of the company is based, should receive special attention as to their availability, or risk having an impact on the balance sheet due to a chain reaction.
As the example mentioned above shows, the lack of risk aversion offered by a high availability environment forces companies to respond due to significant losses, while these losses can be avoided when the infrastructure is built to be available 99.999% of the time.
Any service difficulty or unavailability that will affect the EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) of a company must be linked to a high availability environment to guard against risks to the business. More than a responsibility of IT services, high availability of certain services and systems is above all a corporate responsibility which is anchored in the business’ performance, growth and quality objectives.
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