Data center facilities pro

Oct 18 2010   4:46PM GMT

Survey: UPS battery failure the main cause of data center downtime

Ryan Arsenault Ryan Arsenault Profile: Ryan Arsenault

A recent report from Emerson Network Power showed that the biggest data center downtime headaches resulted from UPS battery failure, among other findings.

According to IT professionals surveyed in the report, 65% of respondents cited UPS battery failure as the biggest cause of data center downtime, with UPS capacity (53%) and human error (51%) clocking in as the next largest culprits.

Over half of the respondents felt that downtime could have been prevented, but only 37% believed that there are enough resources to bring their data centers up to speed after an unplanned outage, while only 42% felt that senior management was on board with their efforts to prevent and manage outages.

The report looked at responses from over 450 IT pros involved in data center operations, and is the first in a two-part series from Emerson. You can check out a .pdf of the full survey results.

Data center design expert Julius Neudorfer, CTO and founder of North American Access Technologies, in an e-mail to, said that the number of unplanned outages seemed high, considering the size of the data centers participating in the survey.

“The survey indicated that the average occurrence of a ‘complete data center outage’ was 2.48 times over a two-year period, with even the largest data centers at 20,000 square-feet and above having a total failure 1.75 times per two years. These are quite high downtime numbers considering the sizes of the data centers that were surveyed,” said Neudorfer. “I have found that these types of failures are usually associated with the smaller (2,500 SF or less) tier one type of data centers, which have limited or no power redundancy.”

Looking for ways to avoid UPS downtime? Check out these tips from
Uninterruptible power supply load bus synchronization: Yes or no?
Will a transformerless UPS work for your data center?
How to choose the right uninterruptible power supply for your data center
Using flywheel power for data center uninterruptible power supply backup
Preventing a data center power outage

Do the survey findings on unplanned downtime ring true in your data center? Weigh in @datacenterTT on Twitter.


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