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Power problems are the biggest cause of IT outages

One quarter of outages are due to power failures, says research

Over a quarter of businesses IT  outages in the UK stem from unreliable power supplies, according to research into the country’s disaster recovery history.

The next most serious issues are software (21 percent) and hardware failures (19 percent), while most respondents to the survey (39 percent) stated that their downtime costs them between $15,000 to $30,000 for each incident – meaning that such frequent power outages present a significant financial risk for UK businesses.

The study, based on interviews with 150 UK organisations, gives a comprehensive insight into the disaster recovery habits of IT managers in the UK – and revealed the most common causes of IT outages. Alongside power failures and hardware and software issues, other common causes of an outage were human error, natural disaster and even malicious activity.

Andrew Fox, director,  Timico

Andrew Fox, director, Timico, keeps in motion

Source: Timico

Protecting business from downtime is top priority

“Whatever the cause of your outage, protecting your business from downtime should be a top priority,” saud Andrew Fox, director for managed networks and cloud & hosting at service provider Timico, which commissioned the survey. 

The study also found that only five percent of respondents were completely confident that their disaster recovery plan would work in the event of an emergency. Despite this only six percent of respondents made the commitment to testing their disaster recovery plans more than once a month.

Not surprisingly, the report coincides with the launch of Timico’s new disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) offering, a cloud-based service which protects against downtime by replicating a secure secondary environment in the cloud. Fox says this product is ”particularly effective for customers whose existing production VMware environment sits ‘off-platform’ within their offices, where power redundancy protections won’t be at the same level as those found in a certified data centre. Timico has uninterruptable power supplies thanks to onsite back-up generators – so with full replication to a commercial data center environment, outages due to power failure need never be an issue again.”

If you are interested in learning more watch our free webinar on designing flexibility into your data center power infrastructure.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Sounds like a skewed set of survey questions. Which 'power supplies'? SMPS in the hardware, UPS, generators or utility? I prefer the 60-70% attributable to human error (Uptime Institute & Liebert Users Group) or even Microsoft who said once that 97% were human and software errors combined. As for replicating/duplicating service that is just another way of doubling your energy consumption...

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  • Thanks Ian


  • Scheduling various failure scenarios once in a month would be sufficient to deal with power outages and keep up the DC resiliency.

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