Data-center owners and operators face increasing complexity and operational challenges as they look to improve IT resiliency, build out capacity at the edge, and retain skilled staff in a tight labor market.
Meanwhile, use of the public cloud for mission-critical workloads is up, according to Uptime Institute, even as many enterprises seek greater transparency into cloud providers’ operations.
These are some of the highlights of this year’s Global Data Center Survey, which tracks trends in capacity growth, capital spending, tech adoption, and staffing.
Fewer data center outages, higher costs
In its annual survey, Uptime looks at the number and seriousness of outages over a three-year period. In terms of overall outage numbers, 69% of owners and operators surveyed in 2021 had some sort of outage in the past three years, a fall from 78% in 2020. Uptime notes that the improvement in the number of outages could be traced to operational changes driven by the pandemic:
“The recent improvement may be partially attributed to the impact of COVID-19, which, despite expectations, led to fewer major data-center outages in 2020. This was likely due to reduced enterprise data-center activity, fewer people on-site, fewer upgrades, and reduced workload/traffic levels in many organizations—coupled with an increase in cloud/public internet-based application use,” Uptime reports. (Related: COVID-19 best practices for data-center operators)
In terms of seriousness of outages, roughly half of all data center outages cause significant revenue, time, and reputational damage, according to Uptime. In this year’s report, 20% of outages were deemed severe or serious by the organizations that reported them. Roughly six in 10 major outages in the 2021 survey cost more than $100,000.