Stopping IT Outages and Downtime

(Up to date: 08-02-2024)

As companies proceed to embrace digital transformation, availability has grow to be an organization’s most precious commodity. Availability refers back to the state of when a corporation’s IT infrastructure, which is vital to working a profitable enterprise, is functioning correctly. Nonetheless, when a corporation experiences an inflow in demand or one other catastrophic IT challenge, availability subsides and downtime happens at an alarming price. One of many largest challenges organizations face is that availability is tough to keep up and is indiscriminate, even for the world’s largest enterprises.

Corporations like British Airways, Fb and Twitter have all battled via costly outages lately that not solely impression their companies, but additionally expose society’s rising dependence on expertise to carry out key capabilities of our each day wants. As expertise continues to advance, IT outages will proceed to ensue and can have an effect on extra than simply a corporation’s backside line.

Downtime remains to be a serious challenge

Outages happen when a corporation’s providers or methods are unavailable, whereas brownouts are when a corporation’s providers stay obtainable however aren’t working at an optimum degree. In line with a LogicMonitor survey of IT decision-makers within the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, 96 p.c of respondents stated they skilled a minimum of one outage prior to now three years.

A median of fifty p.c of respondents within the US, Canada and UK stated they skilled 5 or extra outages prior to now three years. Roughly 50 p.c of US, Canada and UK respondents stated that they had skilled 4 or fewer outages in the identical timeframe.

Stopping IT downtime is essential for sustaining productiveness and making certain clean operations inside a corporation.

Listed below are the ten methods to assist reduce and forestall IT downtime:

  1. Common System Upkeep: Implement a proactive upkeep schedule for servers, networks, and {hardware} to establish and tackle potential points earlier than they escalate.
  2. Redundancy and Backup: Arrange redundant methods, {hardware}, and information backups to supply failover choices in case of {hardware} or software program failures.
  3. Monitoring and Alerts: Make the most of monitoring instruments to repeatedly observe system efficiency and obtain real-time alerts when potential points come up.
  4. Patch Administration: Keep up-to-date with software program patches and safety updates to mitigate vulnerabilities and cut back the chance of system failures.
  5. Load Balancing: Distribute community visitors throughout a number of servers to make sure even workloads and keep away from overloading any single system.
  6. Catastrophe Restoration Plan: Create a complete catastrophe restoration plan that outlines the steps to be taken within the occasion of a serious system failure or information loss.
  7. Testing and Simulation: Often check catastrophe restoration procedures and simulate potential failure situations to validate the effectiveness of the restoration plan.
  8. Worker Coaching: Educate workers about IT finest practices, similar to avoiding suspicious hyperlinks and attachments, to scale back the chance of cyber-attacks that may result in downtime.
  9. Vendor Assist and Upkeep Contracts: Be certain that vital methods have lively assist and upkeep contracts with distributors to obtain well timed help in case of points.
  10. Steady Enchancment and Documentation: Often evaluate and replace IT insurance policies and procedures based mostly on classes realized from previous incidents, and doc them to facilitate constant practices.

Keep in mind, no system is fully resistant to downtime, however by following these preventive measures and having a strong catastrophe restoration plan, you may considerably cut back the impression of potential IT downtime in your group.

Logic Monitor

An outage can impression extra than simply a corporation’s funds. The survey discovered organizations that skilled frequent outages and brownouts incurred greater prices – as much as 16-times greater than firms who had fewer cases of downtime. Past the monetary impression, these organizations needed to double the dimensions of their groups to troubleshoot issues, and it nonetheless took them twice as lengthy on common to resolve them.

The industries most affected

Outcomes from the survey additionally revealed that the frequency of outages and brownouts is conducive to the trade wherein the corporate operates. Monetary and expertise organizations skilled outages and brownouts most regularly throughout a 3 12 months interval, adopted by retail and manufacturing. In line with the survey:

  • 41 p.c of respondents from monetary organizations acknowledged that they skilled 10 or extra outages over the previous three years.
  • 37 p.c of respondents from expertise organizations stated they skilled 10 or extra outages over the previous three years.
  • 34 p.c of respondents from retail organizations acknowledged that they skilled 10 or extra outages over the previous three years.
  • 28 p.c of respondents from manufacturing organizations acknowledged that they skilled 10 or extra outages over the previous three years.

These numbers spotlight the sweeping nature of outages throughout the varied trade sectors and show that no firm ought to take into account itself immune.

The significance of availability

Availability issues not solely to a corporation’s clients, but additionally to the IT decision-makers tasked with sustaining it. The truth is, 80 p.c of worldwide respondents indicated that efficiency and availability are vital points, rating above safety and cost-effectiveness. In spite of everything, IT availability is important within the clean operating of IT infrastructure and subsequently essential to sustaining enterprise operations. Availability ensures that airline passengers, for instance, aren’t stranded because of system outages, meals stays at protected temperatures and clients can entry their on-line banking functions.

Regardless of the significance of availability, IT decision-makers indicated that 51 p.c of outages and 53 p.c of brownouts are avoidable. Because of this organizations may forestall this expensive downtime, however don’t have the means mandatory – whether or not that entails instruments, groups or different sources – to keep away from it.

Issues over the repercussions

With high-profile outages and brownouts hitting the headlines regularly, issues over the repercussions of experiencing downtime are inevitable. Within the US and Canada, 50 p.c of respondents stated they are going to probably expertise a serious brownout or outage so extreme that it’s going to generate media consideration. Of the identical respondents, 52 p.c concern somebody will lose his or her job.

The sector that feared the repercussions of downtime essentially the most was retail, adopted by manufacturing. 68 p.c of respondents working in retail felt that they’d expertise a serious brownout or outage so extreme that it might make nationwide media protection and that somebody may lose his or her job. 67 p.c of IT decision-makers in manufacturing felt it might make nationwide protection, whereas 69 p.c have been involved somebody would lose his or her job.

Complete monitoring is vital

To fight downtime, it’s vital that firms have a complete monitoring platform that enables them to view their IT infrastructure via a single glass panel. This implies potential causes of downtime are extra simply recognized and resolved earlier than they will negatively impression the enterprise. The sort of visibility is invaluable, permitting organizations to focus much less on problem-solving and extra on optimization and innovation.

Evaluating monitoring options will be an arduous however mandatory process, and the significance of extensibility can’t be overstated. Corporations should make sure that the chosen platform integrates effectively with all of its IT methods and might establish and tackle gaps in an organization’s infrastructure that may trigger outages. It’s also crucial that the chosen monitoring resolution shouldn’t be solely versatile, but additionally offers IT groups early visibility into tendencies that might signify bother forward. Taking it a step additional, clever monitoring options that use AIOps performance like machine studying and synthetic intelligence can detect the warning indicators that precede points and warn organizations accordingly.

Finally, whether or not adopting new applied sciences or transferring infrastructure to the cloud, enterprises should make it possible for availability is prime of thoughts, and that their monitoring resolution is ready to sustain. By choosing a scalable platform that gives visibility into their methods and forecasts potential points, companies can rise to the following degree with out sacrificing availability. The sort of visibility is not going to solely forestall downtime and system outages, but additionally hold organizations from hitting undesirable headlines.

By Daniela Streng