What Are The Common Causes Of Data Centre Failure? How Do We Minimise It?

There are many things that can cause data centre failure – some are common causes that most people face (such as a human error) while other causes are of rarity. Whether its rare or not the outcome is always the same; lost productivity, failure of services effecting customer or employees resulting in loss of revenue. According to the research report by Ponemon, in 2017 the average cost of an unplanned data centre failure was £6,850 per minute. So, what are the main causes of these failures? How do we minimise this?

Human Error

Whether its mistakes made during the design, installation or maintenance, people are often to blame for a failure. The up time institute cites that approximately 75% of all data centre outages can be attributed to a human factor. Many of the features of the Data Centre invites the potential for mistakes, whether it’s due to an illogical unplanned layout, no labelling, poor training or lack of maintenance. The simplest oversight can result in some serious downtime that can be both difficult and costly to recover from. Some of these common mistakes include;

  • Activation of the emergency power-off (EPO) switch
  • Changing the Temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius
  • Disconnecting power cords from equipment
  • The overloading of a circuit
  • Not following standard protocol or procedures

To minimise these factors your business should make time to provide adequate training, engagement and documentation amongst your employees. Also, defining ownership and handing specific tasks to teams gives clarity for oversight of your Data Centre.

Cooling Failure

Overheating will cause a Data Centre to fail. – when equipment gets too hot it will shut down to protect itself thus creating downtime. Overheating occurs when;

  • Not enough cold air is being sent to the cold aisle in a cold-aisle containment system.
  • There is a lack of airflow throughout the cabinets.
  • The cooling system redundancy is lost

To minimise the chances of a cooling failure, periodically check cooling equipment and ensure that everything is operating to the standard expected. We recommend investing in a environmental monitoring system that will alert you as soon As temperatures being to shift to an unsafe direction.

Cabling Problems

Cabling is the foundation for a high-performance and high-functioning Data Centre, if the cabling system experiences a failure then this will put the Data Centre at risk. These potential cabling problems could be the following;

  • Tightly packed cabled bundles
  • Bends in the cables
  • Poorly constructed cable with poor performance or near-end cross-talk
  • Wrong type of cable implemented

To minimize these factors, ensure that your following the recommended cable management practises to avoid potential damage. Whether it’s a refurbishment, move or installing a new Data Centre make sure you’re investing in a high-performance cabling solution to minimize potential downtime in the future.

Security Problems

In recent years, Cybersecurity issues are a growing cause of Data Centre failures. These issues could be either internal (workers mistake) or an external party trying to hack into your network to take sensitive data. Make sure your it asses are protected to high standards at all levels from the perimeter to your port. Intelligent monitoring and reporting can also help you track movement within your Data Centre, so you know who has access and at what time.

We at INFINITI can help you design a Data Center that resists failure, from reducing potential human error to making sure systems are running to the high standard. We can help you design, build and install a Data Centre that resists failure, from reducing the potential for human error to making sure systems are running like they should be.


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