SaaS disaster recovery: the cost of downtime

Unexpected downtime is one of the biggest threats to SaaS companies

In 2020, the global economy has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, and natural disasters. Amid the prevailing uncertainty, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions have proven to be a significant bright spot. In fact, Gartner estimates that SaaS will generate $104.7 billion in 2020, growing to $140.6 billion by 2022.

While seemingly immune to the whims of natural disasters, pandemics, and politics, SaaS companies rely upon infrastructure that may not be as insulated. As their success is built on always-on availability, unexpected downtime is one of their largest threats.

What is the cost of application downtime?

According to a 2020 survey of 1,550 global business leaders, 95% of respondents reported experiencing unexpected downtime.

However, the full cost of downtime can’t be expressed in monetary terms alone. Service disruptions can have a significant impact on brand reputation and customer loyalty, too. Over the long term, service outages can lead to stock downturns and increases in costs associated with crisis management. In today’s hyper-connected world, news of an outage can spread beyond affected customers, reaching potential clients or becoming marketing fodder for competing companies.

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

Is 100% uptime a possibility?

SaaS reliability is usually given as a percentage of uptime. Many companies strive for the “five nines” — 99.999% uptime — which translates to roughly one hour of downtime each year. Although a small number, that one hour of downtime could cause major problems if it occurs unexpectedly.

Striving for an annual uptime as close to 100% as possible should be a major goal for every SaaS company. Without a backup data center, uptime isn’t guaranteed. 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. Having a fall-back data center in a geographically separate location can prevent that type of catastrophic failure.

How do colocation data centers support emergency preparedness?

A colocation data center provides a number of significant benefits regarding disaster recovery. Colocation data centers offer backup systems and similar safeguards to ensure critical hardware remains operational. For example, the professionals at Sabey Data Centers conduct regular emergency preparedness tests to ensure each facility is prepared for a myriad of potential contingencies. Plus, redundant, high-performance infrastructure ensures that all power, cooling and network systems remain operational.

Another benefit of colocation data centers is the presence of expert technicians who can monitor your servers and networking equipment to ensure everything is working properly. In addition, remote hands services can offer peace of mind for times when your own personnel aren’t able to reach the equipment. In extreme circumstances, data center technicians are prepared to stay on site 24/7.

Aside from natural disasters, colocation data centers also provide world-class protection against man-made sabotage. Strong security protocols ensure that only authorized personnel have physical access to the facility and only approved technicians can access your equipment.

Where should you locate your backup data center?

Geographic diversity is essential to any effective disaster recovery plan. A hurricane that impacts the east coast is unlikely to harm a backup facility on the west coast, for example. This reasoning applies to all kinds of disasters, both natural and manmade. Positioning your backup SaaS data center in another region can have other benefits, too. For instance, you may be able to take advantage of lower energy costs or better network infrastructure that can’t be matched by local providers.

Plus, distributing your resources across several data centers can benefit your customers across the globe. Strategically positioning your servers near customer hubs can provide performance levels that modern customers demand.

Colocation data centers can support business continuity

Did you know that colocation data centers are more cost-effective than building a redundant site? Your disaster recovery data center 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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