Letter to the Editor: Firms ill prepared for IT failure

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Today's findings by EMC that IT problems and power failure are the most likely causes for data centre or IT systems downtime (24.11.11: BBC.co.uk 'Firms ill prepared for IT Failure') raise interesting questions regarding the understanding that many businesses may have of the resilience of their IT infrastructure.

With the increasing reliance of businesses on IT and the increasing complexity in the way in which services and applications can be delivered, combined with the need to reduce energy related expenditure and address Energy Inefficiency, IT teams are becoming overstretched under pressure to deliver more innovation and change than ever before.
This, combined with the fact that many organisations have no real backup facility due to the cost implications, or particularly those in densely populated areas such as London planning restrictions, and the IT industry is facing a scenario where failure or downtime is unavoidable.
Or is it? Organisations that monitor how power is used within the data centre are able to take proactive steps in understanding their power metrics. By linking real time monitoring from a single global view of the entire data centre's power utilisation to graphical weekly reports that highlight both risks and opportunities for improvement, organisations gain an immediate insight into any areas requiring attention. They furthermore gain access to that all-important audit trail to hold their utility provider accountable to any SLAs in place where necessary, as well as providing a discussion board for future improvements.
Companies cannot afford to play Jenga with their IT resources. Neither should they blithely accept that downtime is unavoidable and simply rely on backup facilities which in many cases can prove extremely difficult to access. What the IT industry must do is use the monitoring tools available today to pro-actively find ways of ensuring that overstretched IT teams are focused on the right areas to ensure business continuity.
Andrew des'Ascoyne, Spook Limited

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