Data centres hit by power outages

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Outages at data centres continue to hit businesses, resulting in damage to brand reputations and financial losses. Insurance software house SSP Worldwide recently came under fire for a series of failures, causing disruption to service users, and the company was quick to blame the data centre for its latest downtime. A co-location provider experienced a power outage that left customers unable to access SSP’s cloud-based insurance software services, on 19 January, which SSP attributed to engineers “carrying out routine maintenance” at the data centre site.

This latest issue is not an isolated case, however – the broking cloud platform, used to issue quotes and track customer policy renewals, experienced a series of incidents throughout August, September and November of last year. (Source: Computer Weekly). This latest power outage clearly enraged its customers, who were unable to trade, as a result, and freely voiced their displeasure on Twitter.

A previous report by the Ponemon Institute suggested that the average cost of a single data centre outage is about $730,000 (£581,000) – an increase of 38% since 2010. The increase in the maximum downtime cost (£1,918,254) was even greater, climbing 81% over the same time period.  However, the potential scale of losses for individual organisations can be staggering – last year, Delta Airlines suffered a data centre outage that caused days of delays and disruption for its passengers, resulting in a loss of $150m (£119m).

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