Its 3 am on Sunday morning and your cell phone is ringing. It’s the CEO of your company.
Quickly, you pinch yourself to see if you are dreaming.
Nope, not a dream.
You wipe the cold out of your eyes, clear your throat and reluctantly answer the call.
The CEO is obviously shaken and by the sound of his tone, it appears something detrimental has occurred. He anxiously exclaims the business is losing money by the second.
As your CEO continues speaking, you being the IT Manager, vaguely remember a meeting you had a few weeks back with your marketing team about a social media influencer campaign they were going to run. They shared data with an estimated increase in traffic and wanted to make sure the infrastructure was going to be able to handle the large influx of visitors with the current setup.
Unfortunately, you underestimated the traffic.
It’s all a blur as the CEO explains the database is completely down and customers can’t reach the site which means lost revenue. Your CEO continues and begins to question your competence in your role.
You had one job: ensure that the companies website is always online.
After 10 minutes, you finally get a chance to get a word in and you let him know you will be contacting your hosting provider immediately.
You fear your job is in jeopardy and feel the guilt in the pit of your stomach.
The damage has been done.
You start to ask yourself: could there have been a way to avoid this problem?
Yes, you should have listened to your marketing team, but what if they had not brought this to your attention. What other precautions could you have taken to avoid downtime?
Was there a way to avoid hardware failure altogether?
Can Hardware Failure Happen?
If you have read this far, you have either first hand experienced a similar problem of downtime or you fear that this could happen to you at any moment.
What a lot of people do not understand is hardware failure occurs all the time. It is inevitable.
Hardware failure is defined as a malfunction to the circuits or mechanical components of the infrastructure or system.”
In this case, we are talking about hardware failure in a datacenter.
What Can Hardware Failure at a Datacenter Include?
Hardware failure in a datacenter can include failure from any of the following systems:
- Hard Drive
- Power Source
- Other internal components
Whether you are new to IT or very tenured, the fact remains that hardware failure happens to everyone at some point.
What you do today in preparing for the worst can affect your job, but more importantly, it will also have an affect on your quality of life.”
Wouldn’t it be less stressful if you had the proper systems, procedures, and protocols in place so that when disaster strikes your system stays online?
Even better, you would be able to rest easy at night and be fully away from work when out of the office, knowing that the infrastructure is prepared for anything (and your job is safe).
Let’s look at some of the ways to keep your systems online despite hardware failure.
How to Avoid Hardware Failure
Initially, pricing for disaster recovery can become the focal point of conversations internally in a business where budget constraints can be an obstacle in standing up a solution similar to the above.
Savvy operation teams and go to market leadership often run an analysis to determine how tolerant the business can be with downtime.
Questions to Consider During Your Downtime Tolerance Analysis
Two questions to consider when doing an analysis would be:
1. How Much Revenue is Lost Every Minute the Site(s) are Unreachable?
For most businesses, calculating the revenue lost during hardware failure is not as simple as calculating the number of customers that could not get to our site(s) multiplied by our typical conversion rate.
Revenue, “the great equalizer,” is often affected in many indirect ways during hardware failure. It’s much more extensive (and expensive, unfortunately).
Revenue loss can include employee productivity loss, loss of access to essential systems like POS, VOIP, and email, as well as lost customers and new potential sales.”
2. How Much Brand Damage Occurs When the Site(s) are Down?
Brand damage is likely the harder of the two to quantify. It really boils down to one question:
How is your brand name perceived by the public now that your site(s) are down?”
Sometimes a single blip of downtime can cause the loss of a large opportunity. The impact on the brand naturally varies based on a host of different reasons.
The leadership team at the business will be the best judge of the opportunities lost, brand perception damage, and potential future sales lost as a result.
Decide if the Benefits of a Highly Available System Outweigh Potential Downtime
Any way you slice it, you have to evaluate if the benefit of purchasing high availability infrastructure outweighs the cost of potential revenue and brand losses due to downtime.
We often insure the things that we personally value like our cars, boats, homes, and health. Businesses survive disasters, and even thrive, based on revenue and brand reputation.
Why risk-taking blows to either from poor analysis and poor planning?
What Type of Solutions are There?
Did you know that Liquid Web has solutions for both disaster recovery and high availability? The good news is we can help tailor a custom solution suitable for your downtime tolerance, even if that tolerance is zero.
Our high availability solutions can ensure that you can handle large influxes of traffic so that you can focus more on sales and employee productivity, even during hardware failure.
Liquid Web’s disaster recovery options provide you with the infrastructure needed to develop policies and procedures that can quickly allow you to resume vital functions after a natural or human-related disaster. Both solutions include our world-class rock solid support by the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting.
Learn More About High Availability Infrastructure
Sam Mcwright has been in technology sales for over 10 years. His passion is helping customers solve for challenges, innovate, and secure their business. In his spare time, he enjoys active sports activities with his wife and four children as well as growing his sneaker collection. Connect with Sam on LinkedIn.
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