Virtually every organisation understands that its successful operation depends on the continuous availability of its applications. Most companies rely on internal applications – ranging from enterprise resource planning to payroll systems – to keep the wheels of their enterprise turning. They also depend on external-facing applications for everything from selling products to their customers to automating the supply chain with suppliers and partners. The failure of any of these mission-critical applications could be catastrophic to a business.
The causes of downtime are numerous. Top-of-mind causes include fire and natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. More unexpected are causes such as power and cooling failures. But even more unforeseen are the failures that are not
thought of as true disasters: A fire in another part of the building can cause smoke and water damage in the best-protected data centre. Human errors such as the faulty configuration of a switch or accidental discharge of fire-suppression material can also cause downtime. When a failure occurs, its scope can range from a system to a rack, from a room to a floor, and from a building to an entire site.