The Gold Standard for Data Center Availability

Five minutes and 15 seconds of downtime per year. Does your data center offer this level of availability?

The term “five nines” refers to 99.999% (count the nines – it’s where “five nines” comes from). That percentage is often referred to as “reliability” in the data center world, but five nines actually refers to the percentage of time that a device or network is available for use. This number includes how often the system goes down, and how fast it can be put back into service. It also includes downtime needed for service or maintenance.

The more uptime you offer to clients (whether they’re employees at your organization or customers leasing space in your multi-tenant data center), the more money you make – and the more productive the organization is. The fewer “nines” you offer, the more downtime introduced. Four nines (99.99%) availability translates to 52 minutes and 36 seconds of downtime per year. Two nines (99%) availability indicates three days, 15 hours and 40 minutes of downtime per year.

The Cost of System Downtime

Every one hour of downtime costs an average of $336,000, according to the Ponemon Institute. Even a two-hour downtime could shrink availability from eight nines (99.999999% availability) down to two nines (99%) – and negatively impact customer satisfaction and trust.

Downtime Stress

Several factors make downtime difficult to avoid:

  • Constantly changing technology
  • New network demands
  • Integration requirements
  • Human error
  • UPS and cooling system performance

So how do you get more “nines” into your data center uptime?

Download our 10 Steps to Holistic Data Center Design white paperWays to Increase Uptime

Investing in high-quality data center solutions that undergo extensive pre-deployment testing and offer comprehensive warranties is a good first step – you know you’re installing excellent products from the start.

Seventy-three (73%) percent of data center downtime is caused by human error, according to the Uptime Institute. You’re well on your way to improving availability if you reduce mistakes during data center work through:

  • Consistent product footprints and a standard look and feel to allow for easy and fast installation, maintenance and repair.
  • Features that eliminate the need to “guess,” such as color coding and tracing.
  • A DCIM (data center infrastructure management) solution that alerts you to environmental conditions leading to downtime, such as high temperatures or humidity levels.

Data center security solutions can also reduce downtime by preventing unauthorized entry. From access control solutions to security at the cabinet level, if you can control who has contact with the space and equipment, the less likely you are to deal with a security issue that causes downtime.

Belden offers several solutions for minimizing human error. Our standard fiber and copper products have the same footprint. Erika Violet cable, adapters and connector bodies indicate OM4 fiber; they make plugging in the wrong fiber jumper type virtually impossible. To learn more about data center availability, or how to use Belden data center solutions to achieve five nines availability, visit our data center microsite page about system uptime or contact us at 800.BELDEN.1.