Disaster recovery data centers for SaaS: the cost of downtime

Downtime is the single most significant threat to SaaS companies. Here’s why you need to adopt a disaster recovery data center plan before disaster strikes.

Unexpected downtime is one of the biggest threats to SaaS companies 

If downtime and a disaster recovery data center plan haven’t been top of mind, it’s understandable. After all, a global pandemic, social unrest, and natural disasters have battered economies and captured international attention. Yet, amid the prevailing uncertainty, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions have proven to be a significant bright spot.  

While seemingly immune to the whims of natural disasters, pandemics, and politics, SaaS companies rely upon infrastructure that may not be as insulated. Dependent upon always-available infrastructure, unexpected downtime is their single most significant threat.

What is the cost of IT downtime? 

According to a 2020 survey of 1,550 global business leaders, 95% of respondents reported experiencing unexpected downtime. However, monetary terms cannot express the total cost of downtime. Service disruptions can significantly impact brand reputation and customer loyalty, too. Over the long term, service outages could lead to stock downturns and increases in costs associated with crisis management. In addition, news of an outage in today’s hyper-connected world can spread beyond established customers to prospective clients or become marketing fodder for competing companies. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of a data center plan to prepare any enterprise for unexpected events. 

Service outages can also impact employee productivity. For example, your IT staff may experience burnout as they work quickly to get systems up and running, impacting their standard workload. Significant downtime may also push out deadlines on revenue-generating projects. Ultimately, even a single hour of downtime can have lingering effects that directly affect your company’s bottom line. 

Is 100% uptime a possibility? 

A percentage of uptime, not downtime, describes SaaS reliability. For example, most companies strive for the “five nines” — 99.999% uptime — which translates to roughly one hour of downtime each year. Although a small number, even that one hour of downtime may cause significant problems to a SaaS company’s business if it occurs unexpectedly.

Striving for an annual uptime as close to 100% as possible should be a primary goal for every SaaS company, and only a disaster recovery data center can guarantee uptime. For example, if a natural disaster such as an earthquake knocks your primary data center offline, it could take days to recover, potentially costing millions of dollars. A disaster recovery data center in a geographically separate location would ensure continuity and prevent catastrophic failure. 

How do disaster recovery data centers support emergency preparedness? 

Utilizing a colocation data center as a primary deployment and as part of a disaster recovery plan provides several significant benefits. These facilities feature expert technicians and redundant, high-performance infrastructure working around the clock to ensure that power, cooling, network systems, and your IT equipment remain operational. 

Colocation data centers offer backup systems, continuous monitoring, and other safeguards to ensure critical hardware remains operational. For example, the IT experts at Sabey Data Centers conduct regular emergency preparedness tests to prepare each facility for various contingencies. Further, colocation data centers offer remote hands services to bridge the gap and provide peace of mind if your personnel cannot reach your equipment. 

Natural disasters aside, colocation data centers also protect against human threats such as sabotage. Robust physical security protocols ensure that only authorized personnel may access the facility and that only approved technicians can access your equipment. 

Where should you locate your disaster recovery data center? 

Geographic diversity is essential to any effective disaster recovery plan. For example, a hurricane that impacts the east coast is unlikely to harm a backup facility further inland. Positioning your disaster recovery data center in another region has additional benefits. For instance, you may be able to take advantage of lower energy costs, more plentiful skilled labor, or superior network infrastructure that local providers can’t match. 

Further, distributing your resources across several data centers can benefit your customers across the globe. Strategically positioning your servers near customer hubs — the edge — can provide the lower latency that modern customers demand.

Disaster recovery data centers can support business continuity 

Did you know that colocation data centers are more cost-effective than building your own redundant site? Your disaster recovery data center deployment should help you keep your costs manageable while allowing you to benefit from the latest innovations in technology.  

To learn more, get your free copy of our e-book “Colocation Supports Disaster Recovery.” 

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