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4 minute readThe Cause of Data Center Downtime: Is Human Error Always to Blame?

Murphy’s Law dictates, “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” This is true in all walks of life, but it is especially prescient in the world of the data center. Data centers are huge enterprises with a wide range of moving parts, any of which can effectively “break down” at a moment’s notice.

After you experience several instances of something that can go wrong actually going wrong, however, you must begin to ask yourself “why can these things actually go wrong in the first place?” Human error may just be the culprit that you’ve been looking for.

The Error of Assuming All Data Center Mistakes Are Human Error.

To get to the root of data center downtime, it’s important to define what “human error” means in this context. It doesn’t mean that employees are making careless mistakes, unless, of course, you made some mistakes in the hiring process. Instead,  hiring the right people for the right positions takes this particular variable out of the equation.

Rather, human error in relation to a data center is typically referencing to a lack of standardized procedures and proper documentation to keep issues from rearing their ugly heads in the first place. According to a recent study, this particular type of human error is cited in more than 80 percent of outages in data centers located all over the world.

Data Center Success is About Problem Solving

Even if you’re dealing with human error in the truest sense of the term where a staff member makes an honest mistake, there are still a variety of problems that you’re likely to encounter in a data center that, thankfully, have easy fixes.

Sometimes parts just break or disk drives just crash. By keeping spare parts on-site in the event that you need them will significantly reduce the amount of time that it takes to address small issues when they do inevitably rear their ugly heads. Y

ou won’t have to wait for a support engineer to come on-site to replace the part if you already have easy access to it. Keeping replacement disk drives and other mission-critical parts on hand can relieve a great deal of stress from your daily operations. Reliant Technology’s support and maintenance team can provide onsite spares for you to keep at your location.

Having the right support structure in place for your equipment is also one proactive step towards maximizing efficiency and reducing downtime as much as possible. Reliant, for example, offers comprehensive support coverage with five levels of maintenance ranging from 24x7x365 to next-business-day parts replacement that are available to fit the specific requirements of unique data center and organization.

Defining Procedure

In addition to keeping parts on hand and having the right support staff in place, one of the other keys to eliminating downtime from human error is to make sure that the proper procedures are documented in the first place.

If you’re fostering an environment of open and honest communication and you are only hiring the most highly trained and qualified professionals for your data center staff, human error will not be something that you have to constantly worry about, but even if everything fails at once, you can understand how to get your data center infrastructure back up and running.

However, those humans won’t be able to follow the procedure if you yourself have not defined it in the first place.

How Reliant Can Help

Not sure where to start? Reliant’s team of dedicated storage and support specialists can help you plan for the “unplannable” – drive failures, storage, server, and networking support and can help you craft detailed processes to help your data center run smoothly.

For more information about how Reliant Technology can help you organization with data center support or upgrades for your storage systems, reach out to one of our storage specialists today or call 1.877.227.0828.


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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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Reliant Technology Cares

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.