Power Protection FEATURED ARTICLE

UPS Systems Critical as a Majority of IT Downtime is Caused by Power Outages

December 16, 2016

  By Laura Stotler, Power Protection Contributing Editor

Although not all data outages are related to power, power outages are the leading cause of IT downtime, according to a new survey from Zetta (News - Alert), a company specializing in business continuity solutions. The company’s new “State of Disaster Recovery Survey” shows just how significant downtime and outages are for any business, highlighting the importance of power protection in today’s data-driven technology world.



While cybersecurity is a top priority, failure to implement and properly manage a high-quality UPS system could spell disaster for any organization. Zetta found that outages not only impacted revenues and inconvenienced customers, but ultimately degraded brand reputation.

“These top 2016 data outages underscore that even large public companies, with significant teams and IT resources, can be hit with power outages and suffer real financial consequences,” said Mike Grossman, CEO of Zetta. “These experiences highlight the value of protecting business data with a comprehensive and reliable cloud disaster recovery strategy that's both tested and proven.”

The survey outlined the top six major downtime events of the year, along with the ultimate consequences of each event. Twitter (News - Alert) kicked off the year with one of the most historically severe data outages, impacting its hundreds of millions of users and preventing them from accessing the social media service for several hours. Twitter’s stock price dropped a whopping 7 percent as a result of the outage and still hasn’t fully bounced back.

AWS in Sydney Australia experienced a significant outage in June, taking down big corporate websites and preventing retail customers from completing their transactions. That outage wasn’t confined to online shopping either, as customers were unable to withdraw money from ATMs and couldn’t process financial payments as a result. And in July, Comcast (News - Alert) Business Phone Service underwent a network outage impacting close to one million small business customers. That outage resulted in a deluge of customer complaints, with the company’s Denver call center receiving as many as 300 calls per hour during peak damage time.

Airline outages always make headlines, and two U.S. airlines experienced significant and far-reaching outages this year. In July, Southwest Airlines underwent a grueling four-day outage, resulting in more than 2,000 delayed fights and coming in at between $54 and $82 million in revenue losses. And the next month, Delta Airlines experienced a three-day worldwide system failure thanks to a power outage, preventing customers from obtaining boarding passes and checking in to their flights. The outage resulted in 2,300 flight cancellations and a devastating $150 million in pre-tax income losses for Delta.

Finally, a late August power outage took down SSP Wordwide’s data center for 10 days, preventing insurance brokers from pricing new business and also prohibiting the company from notifying customers whose insurance policies were about to run out – placing customers at a critical liability risk.

Not all of these top data outages were caused by power failures, but of those that were, a reliable UPS system could have prevented mass losses and downtime. Power outages are an unfortunate fact of life, but they certainly don’t have to spell disaster if organizations take the steps to deploy and manage appropriate power protection and UPS solutions.




Edited by Alicia Young

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