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Eliminating human error

HUMAN error is often cited as a major contributor to data centre downtime. In fact many studies now claim it is the leading cause – and therefore a leading cause of headaches for IT managers.

Nobody needs to be reminded quite how imperative preventing outages in mission critical systems is.

The cost of downtime for companies can be astronomical and cannot just be measured in monetary value. The loss of customers; industry fines; and loss of reputation all have a huge impact on a business.

But data centres are not easy places to navigate and so it is not surprising that human errors do occur.

Pulling the wrong plug; overloading circuits; and setting the cooling system to the wrong temperature can, and do, happen; even with the most experienced staff.

And while many companies focus on the way they build their data centre and what they put in it, it may be more pertinent – and cost effective for cash-strapped IT departments – to take a look at the causes of the downtime and address those as a matter of urgency.

Training, planning and maintaining are all paramount if companies want to minimise the risk of downtime occurring.

Human error is not the only cause of downtime though and the myriad of other issues cannot be ignored either. These may include inefficient or irregular maintenance; poor risk management; equipment failure; and external issues, such as the weather.

No one particular design of data centre will be a guaranteed mitigation against all the ways things can go wrong, but concentrating on better planning and management can help ensure you have the most robust infrastructure in place.

With the world now revolving around data centres, more and more companies are becoming totally reliant on all the information they hold and the systems they control.

By law many companies are now required to have the data centres in the country they are holding the information. This can make maintaining that critical infrastructure all the more difficult.

Remote services – such as the proven, intelligent remote hands and eyes offered 24 hours a day by on365, which has ensured no downtime due to human error has been experienced on its partner sites in the last 10 years – will play a crucial role in making sure a company’s uptime far exceeds the downtime.

Good management will be of the upmost importance for IT decision makers when first considering a data centre. From project management, to infrastructure (including the physical) management and regular audits, a well-planned, well-trained team of IT professionals using the best technology will be the most effective way to bring data centre’s downtime, down.

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