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Human error more problematic than other threats

by Brian Sims

A recent survey conducted by Enlogic has found that human error is reported to be the main cause of downtime in data centres. More than one third of respondents cited human error as the most likely cause of downtime. Equipment failure and external power outages were second and third in the top responses. Errors reported include unintentionally adjusting temperature settings from Fahrenheit to Celsius, accidentally pulling power cords from an IT device or inadvertently overloading a circuit are cited as examples of how data centre workers can cause a system failure. Unplanned downtime can lead to financial loss as well as reputational damage to businesses. A natural response is to implement a redundancy plan which requires investment into additional equipment that remains idle until it might be needed. This approach increases upfront purchase costs and escalates energy bills by sending power to idle servers. Estimates from the survey suggest that just one minute of downtime can cost as much as

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